Kerala nun rape case: Supreme Court dismisses Bishop Franco Mulakkal's discharge plea
On July 7, the Kerala High Court had rejected Mulakkal's plea to quash the charge of sexually assaulting a nun against him and directed him to face trial
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by Bishop Franco Mulakkal seeking directions to discharge him from the nun rape case without a trial claiming he was innocent. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde dismissed the plea saying, "We are not saying anything on merit but we are dismissing on discharge."
Mulakkal has filed the discharge plea claiming innocence and that he was implicated after he questioned the financial dealings of the victim nun. He approached the top court after the Kerala High Court rejected his plea for discharge from the case.
On July 7, the Kerala High Court had rejected Mulakkal's plea to quash the charge of sexually assaulting a nun against him and directed him to face trial. The prosecution had contended that there was strong evidence against him and he was moving pleas frequently to delay the trial.
He had approached the Kerala High Court after a trial court in March in Kottayam had dismissed the plea to discharge him from the case. Mulakkal, former head of the Latin Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, had sought from the trial court to quash charges against him claiming that the rape survivor had implicated him after he took action against her for financial irregularities in the convent.
In June 2018, the nun, who is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation based in Punjab, had complained to the police in Kottayam that Jalandhar Bishop had raped her several times between 2014 and 2016. After several rounds of questioning, the special investigation team (SIT) of Kerala Police arrested him in September 2018. The SIT had filed the charge sheet against him last year.
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