The Kerala High Court today granted conditional bail to Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a nun. Granting the bail, the court directed the Bishop to surrender his passport and not to enter Kerala state except for appearing before the probe officer once in two weeks on Saturdays.
This condition would be applicable till a chargesheet is filed in the case. The priest had approached the high court for bail after a magistrate court extended his judicial remand. Earlier this month, the HC had also rejected his bail while accepting the prosecution’s stand that giving the accused bail would hamper the course of the investigation.
The 54-year-old Bishop, currently lodged in a sub-jail in Pala in Kottayam district, moved the high court again after a magistrate court extended his judicial remand. Police opposed the bail application of the clergyman, saying the investigation was still on in the case.
In her complaint to the Kottayam Police in June, the nun had alleged that Bishop Mulakkal raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her on several occasions. Subsequently, sexually exploited her on several occasions over a period of two years from May 5, 2014. She said she had to approach the police as the church authorities did not act even after repeated complaints.