Kerala HC defers bail hearing of Jalandhar Bishop, accused of Rape

In a setback to Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal’s effort to get protection against arrest, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday deferred hearing his petition for anticipatory bail to September 25.

Franco Mulakkal is to appear before the Kerala police officers probing allegations that he raped a nun tomorrow.

In his bail plea, the Bishop had said he had been implicated for taking action against the nun.

The Bishop had been summoned in connection with the probe into allegations of rape by a nun amid mounting pressure for action against him and continuing protests by Missionaries of Jesus nuns and officials of various churches for the past 10 days in Kochi.

The day after he received the summons and following mounting pressure and growing protests, the Bishop handed over charge of the Diocese to a deputy. He also wrote to Pope Francis, the supreme pontiff of the Catholic church, offering to step aside temporarily.

In June, a 43-year-old nun, also a mother superior, had complained to the police that Mulakkal, 54, had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The nun is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation based in Punjab which runs two convents in Kerala