New Delhi: A court in Kottayam on Friday acquitted Bishop Franco Mullakal of all charges in the nun rape case. Additional Sessions Judge G Gopakumar pronounced the acquittal of the involvement of the former bishop of Jalandhar diocese.
On leaving the court, Mulakkal said, “God is supreme. Truth prevails.” Initial reports suggested that he was acquitted due to a lack of scientific evidence. Heavy police force was deployed outside the Kottayam Additional Sessions Court ahead of the pronouncement of the verdict.
The court had completed the hearing on Monday and had reserved its verdict in the matter. The hearing of the case started in November 2019. A case of rape was registered against Bishop by the police in Kottayam district in 2018.
In her police complaint in June 2018, the nun had alleged that she was sexually abused between 2014 and 2016 by the then Bishop Franco of the Jalandhar Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.
A special investigation team investigating the case arrested Bishop and charged him with wrongful confinement, rape, unnatural sex and criminal intimidation. The court had restrained the print and electronic media from publishing any matter relating to the trial in this case without its permission.
first published:Jan. 14, 2022, 11:07 a.m.