Kerala: Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of rape of nun, acquitted

The Additional District and Sessions Court in Kottayam on Friday acquitted Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Catholic Church in the nun rape case.

Additional Sessions Judge G Gopakumar pronounced the verdict today morning in the presence of Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

Mulakkal had been the bishop of Jalandhar, but had been divested of the administrative charges after the scandal emerged in 2018.

He had been arrested in September, 2018 in connection with the complaint of a nun, who had alleged that Mulakkal had raped her 13 times at her Congregation’s mission house in Kottayam district, over a period of two years from May 5, 2014.

Mulakkal had been the first Indian Catholic bishop to be arrested in a rape case and was lodged in judicial custody for 25 days after his arrest in September, 2018.

While the trial began in November 2019, it got delayed and was finally completed on Monday, January 10, 2022. It was an in-camera trial and the media was prohibited from reporting details about the trial, as per Bishop Franco’s counsel’s request, according to Live Law.

(Detailed judgment is awaited.)