Pope obliges Bishop Franco Mulakkal’s request, temporarily relieves him of duties

22 September, 2018, 03:26 | Author: Carlos George
  • Bishop Franco Mulakkal outside a crime branch office in Kochi | Reuters

It is learned that he will be interrogated by cross examining the evidences before him.

On Tuesday, the Kerala High Court agreed to hear Mulakkal's anticipatory bail plea on September 25.

The Allahabad High Court had severely reprimanded the Uttar Pradesh government and Uttar Pradesh Police for delaying the arrest of Unnao BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is an accused in the Unnao rape.

The Bishop was accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a nun for two years between 2014 and 2016.

He wrote the letter after Kerala police summoned him to appear before it for questioning in the case.

He said the investigating officer was free to take a call on the issue. The procedure that the law mandates, in a case involving non-bailable offences, is to arrest the accused and interrogate, once the accused is in custody.

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Franco Mulakkal, 54, was formally detained on Friday after police questioned him for three days in the southern city of Kochi. "That we will discuss with the legal team".

The Vatican had on Thursday, 20 September, divested Mulakkal, who was the bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of Missionaries of Jesus, despite shedding his administrative role of his pastoral responsibilities "temporarily". Some people also burnt an effigy of Mulakkal.

The Vatican's decision was welcomed by the nuns protesting against Mulakkal, reported PTI.

Kottayam Superintendent of Police Hari Sankar said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is probing the case chose to complete the interrogation on Friday.

According to India Today, the statement said, "The nun who has complained against the bishop has conspired in connivance with nine others, including five nuns, against the bishop". Mulakkal has maintained that the allegations against him were a "cooked up story to wreak vengeance" for the actions taken by him on various complaints received against the nun.

HT reports that he was asked to be present at the Crime branch for questioning at 10:30 am on Friday but he reached the venue only by 10:40.

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