The Kerala High Court on Tuesday (July 7) dismissed a discharge petition by bishop Franco Mulakkal and directed him to stand for trial in the sexual assault case filed against him by a nun of the Jalandhar diocese.
Mulakkal, a senior priest of Roman Catholic Church, had filed the revision petition following the dismissal of his discharge plea by a trial court this March. The rape case against him was registered by police in Kottayam district.
Dismissing his plea, Justice V Shircy admitted the prosecution argument that there was prima facie evidence against Mulakkal in the rape case, which was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by the Jalandhar diocese nun.
In his plea filed before the High Court, the priest had argued that he was implicated after he questioned the financial dealings of the nun. he had filed the discharge plea in the trial court just ahead of commencement of the preliminary hearing on charges against him.
In her complaint to the police in June, 2018, the nun had alleged that she was subjected to sexual abuse by the bishop during 2014-2016. The bishop has been charged with wrongful confinement, rape, unnatural sex and criminal intimidation.
(With inputs from agencies)