Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, Tuesday got a breather after the Kerala High Court asked the state government to furnish its response on his anticipatory bail plea. Mulakkal moved the bail application a day before Kerala police is slated to question him for the second time.
As the High Court has sought the police report on September 25, the probe team will wait till they hear from the court before taking any action. Further, a division bench of the high court is scheduled to take a decision on the bishop’s arrest on September 24 over a petition filed by an organisation.
“The questioning scheduled for Wednesday was meant to clear contradictions in the statements of the alleged accused, survivor and witnesses. Arrest of the bishop would happen only if there is required evidence in the case, reporting of which was delayed by nearly two years,’’ sources said.
Five nuns belonging to the rape survivor’s Missionaries of Jesus, under the banner of Save Our Sisters Action Council, have been agitating for the last 11 days, demanding the bishop’s arrest.
Mulakkal, in his anticipatory bail plea, alleged that the rape charge against him was concocted and cooked up by the nun to seek vengeance for the action he took against her after receiving several complaints. “She is part of a vicious campaign to bring down the bishop from power,’’ said the petition.