Rejecting the bail application of the rape accused former Bishop of the Jalandhar Catholic Diocese, Franco Mulakkal, the Kerala High Court accepted the prosecution’s argument that the priest might as well influence the witnesses if he is enlarged on bail.
According to Kerala Police, as more and more complaints were submitted, allowing bail to the accused will retard the progress of investigation. It may be recalled that on September 24 the Pala Judicial Magistrate Court in Kottayam had remanded the priest to judicial custody till October 6. Ever since Mulakkal has been lodged in the Pala sub-jail. The priest, who has been accused of raping a nun multiple times during the period of 2014 and 2016. Demanding his arrest, the nuns were protesting and subsquently he was arrested by the Kerala Police and produced in a magistrate court in Pala on September 22. Mullakkal was sent to police custody till September 24. What is more, the priest’s lawyer had moved a bail application, which was eventually rejected by the magistrate court. Furthermore, on September 22, the Kerala Police submitted a remand report to the court stating that the bishop had visited the convent with the aim of sexually assaulting the nun and in May 2014, Mulakkal illegally confined her in room number 20 of the guest house and subjected her to unnatural sexual assault. The police further stated that the priest threatened the nun with dire consequences, if she ever disclosed the incident to the outside world. The victim was sexually assaulted as many as 13 times in the same room between 2014-2016, as per the remand report. Mulakkal was earlier summoned by the police and after intense interrogation for three days, the rape accused bishop was arrested on September 21.