Kottayam (Kerala) [India], July 13 (ANI): Kottayam Additional District Court on Monday cancelled the bail granted to former Bishop Franco Mulakkal, an accused in the nun rape case, and issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
The order was passed by Judge G Gopakumar after the accused repeatedly failed to appear before the trial court.
The case was earlier scheduled for hearing on July 1. However, the accused was not present in the court, citing that he was living in a COVID-19 containment zone.
During the hearing of the case today, the court accepted the argument of Special Prosecutor Jitesh J Babu that the Jalandhar Civil Line area, which includes the Bishop's House where the accused resides, was not a containment zone and it was a deliberate attempt on the part of the accused to extend the case.
Earlier, the counsel of the accused had told the court that Franco went to meet his lawyer who turned COVID-19 positive and that he was asked by the authorities to go into home quarantine in Jalandhar.
The Special Prosecutor contested the claim and told the court about the previous incident as to how the court was being misled to deliberately extend the case. Admitting the argument, the court cancelled the bail of Mulakkal and issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
The charges were levelled by a nun who accused him of sexual assault and rape multiple times from May 2014 till September 2016.
Earlier on July 7, the Kerala High Court had dismissed a petition filed by Mulakkal seeking directions to discharge him without a trial from the rape case filed against him by a senior nun.
Franco, in his discharge petition, had claimed that there was a lack of evidence to prove him a culprit. The plea submitted that there were contradictions in the recorded statements of the witnesses and therefore, no proof was worth being upheld to proceed with the case.
However, the prosecution argued that Franco was deliberately trying to delay the trial in the case. A single-judge bench of Justice Shircy V dismissed the petition after hearing arguments from all the sides.
During the hearing, the state government had also submitted before the court that enough evidence exists to continue the case against Mulakkal. (ANI)