Bishop Franco Mulakkal and Kerala nun rape case: the story till now

HC calls for report on progress of probe

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday asked the State government to inform the court about the progress of the investigation into the allegation of rape levelled by a nun against Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A.K.Jayasankaran Nambiar passed the order while hearing two public interest litigations filed by the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement, Pala, and George Vattukkulam from Thrissur seeking a directive to arrest the bishop and to conduct a time-bound investigation.

The court orally observed that nobody was above law and no one should have any misconception about it.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the police had filed a report in the High Court earlier saying the evidence collected so far revealed that the accused bishop committed an unnatural offence and committed rape repeatedly on different dates on the victim.

Despite the evidence, no steps had been taken to arrest the bishop, the counsel argued.

The delay in the arrest had given an opportunity for the accused to intimidate the witnesses.

The counsel pointed out that while disposing of a petition filed by the Catholic Reform Movement earlier seeking arrest, a single judge had observed that it was within the discretion of the investigation officer to take a call on the arrest of the bishop after interrogating him.

It was also submitted that notwithstanding the lodging of a complaint with the Kuravilangad police station by one of the nuns who had deposed before the investigation officer that there was threat to her life as well as the lives of other witnesses, no case had been registered by the police till date and no protection had been given to them.

The government pleader then sought two days time to get instructions from the police and report on the progress of the investigation.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 8:31:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hc-calls-for-report-on-progress-of-probe/article24919497.ece

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