In a major development in the Kerala nun rape case, former bishop Franco Mulakkal, on Saturday, moved the Supreme Court seeking discharge in the case, claiming his innocence. The plea filed by Mulakkal claims that he was implicated after enquiring financial dealings of the victim nun. Seeking an urgent hearing, Mulakkal claims that the allegations against him were raised seeking personal revenge, alleging discrepancies in the nun's statements.
Previously on July 7, the Kerala High Court dismissed a petition filed by Mulakkal seeking directions to discharge him without a trial from the rape case. He had repeated his claims of 'lack of evidence' and 'contradictions in the nun's statements'. Subsequently, a Kottayam district court dismissed his bail plea after he failed to appear in court and issued a non-bailable warrant against him and directed him to appear before the court.
Bishop Mulakkal has been accused of raping and forcing unnatural sex on the nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016. As the complainant came forward, nuns of the congregation came out in support for the victim, demanding CM Pinarayi Vijayan's intervention. After being arrested by the Kerala police, Mulakkal was later released by the Kerala High Court on an unconditional bail in October last year.
Back in January, sister Anupama had been at the forefront of the campaign against the rape accused, along with sister Alfie, sister Josephine, sister Ancitta and sister Nina Rose. They had expressed the church authorities' pressure to transfer them and splitting them up. The nuns also wrote a letter to the CM expressing how they feel unsafe and that the accused Bishop is powerful.
Earlier in April 2019, Kerala Police had filed a chargesheet against Franco Mulakkal under various sections ranging from Punishment for wrongful confinement, Sexual intercourse by a person in authority to Carnal Intercourse against the order of nature. The entire charge sheet filed was 2000 pages long. Sources had told that if the charges against Franco Mulakkal is proven, he might get life imprisonment or imprisonment of not less than 10 years.