Kerala Police filed a charge sheet against Franco Mulakkal on the accusation of raping a nun. A former Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese was arrested back in September last year.
Kerala official sources have told Republic that a comprehensive 2000 page charge sheet has been filed against the rape accused.
According to the charge sheet, the case filed against him are under 342 (Punishment for wrongful confinement), 376 (2) (K) (being in a position of control or dominance over a woman, commits rape on such woman), 376 (C) (I) [(Sexual intercourse by a person in authority] 377/506 (1) [Carnal Intercourse against the order of nature with the victim without consent and criminally intimidated the victim by extending threats].
The detailed charge sheet has been filed by an investigation team devised by the Kerala Police, who have been probing into the case for the past 6 months against the former Bishop.
Sources have further told that if the charges against Franco Mulakkal is proven, he might get life imprisonment or imprisonment of not less than 10 years.
Back in January, sister Anupama who had been at the forefront of the campaign against the rape accused appeared exclusively on Republic TV, along with sister Alfie, sister Josephine, sister Ancitta and sister Nina Rose to elaborate on the isolation faced by them, the effort to break their collective strength by ordering to transfer them and splitting them up and the church authorities supporting the former Bishop.
Earlier, a protest had broken out in Kochi against Archbishop Franco Mulakkal, who threatened a crackdown if spoken against the Church. The nuns wrote to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking protection and intervention. In the letter, the nuns speak of how they feel unsafe and that the accused Bishop is powerful.
The letter read:
"We and Sr. Neena Rose who is also an inmate in the house are facing imminent threats from the de-facto complainant's side. We think it is our duty to support and 'to be with' the victim of rape, who is our colleague/a sister. The recent developments show that we are not safe in any aspects considering the power, influence and the past activities of the other side."
Mulakkal has been accused of raping and forcing unnatural sex on the nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016. He was released by the Kerala High Court on an unconditional bail in October last year.