Rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal Granted Conditional Bail by Kerala Hc; Priest to Surrender Passport, Barred from State
October 15, 2018
The Kerala High Court on Monday granted bail to Bishop Franco Mulakkal in the case of a nun's rape. The high court granted him relief on some conditions, including that Mulakkal would have to surrender his passport. This was one of the concerns put forth by the prosecution.
Additionally, Mulkkal is no longer allowed to enter Kerala and is required to report to the investigating officer in the rape case at least once in two weeks.
The Jalandhar bishop applied for bail for the second time on 10 October. The plea stated that since he was not in a position of power any longer, he cannot intimidate witnesses anymore, as the prosecution had earlier claimed.
Mulakkal had also sought bail on 3 October, but a magistrate court had rejected the plea, as Justice V Raja Vijayaraghavan had observed that there was enough evidence against him. According to reports, the Kerala Police had said that since more complaints were being submitted, giving bail to the accused would hamper the investigation.
While applying for bail on Mulakkal's behalf the second time, his legal team had said that the reasons for him being denied relief the first time were no longer applicable. The plea also sought bail on the grounds that the witnesses in the case have been given full police protection, and that his visit to a hospital after his arrest were signs of deteriorating health.
On 24 September, the Pala Judicial Magistrate Court in Kottayam had remanded Mulakkal to judicial custody.