Kochi, Aug 14: The Kottayam trial court hearing the nun rape case in Kerala read out the chargsheet against accused Bishop Franco Mullakal on Thursday. The date for commencement of trial has been set for September 16.
The important points in the charge sheet that runs over a thousand pages were read out to him, which he flatly denied.
The charges against the rape accused Bishop are IPC section 342 (Punishment for wrongful confinement), section 376 (c)(a) (sexual intercourse by person in authority or in a fiduciary relationship), 377 (Unnatural offences), 506 (1) (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 376 (2) (k) (commits persistant sexual assault), 376 (2) (n) (commits rape repeatedly on the same woman), 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty). The charges were denied by the accused Bishop.
It was last week that Kottayam Additional Sessions Court ordered him not to leave the city till the charge sheet is read out, after the Supreme Court dismissed the petition filed by him seeking to discharge him in the Kerala nun rape case. He was granted a fresh bail in the nun rape case on August 7, Friday, by the Kottayam Additional Sessions court. This came after the trial court in July cancelled his bail as the accused had failed to present himself at all hearings in the case.
After the accused turned up at court, he was granted a new bail with fresh sureties.
Mulakkal was arrested on September 21, 2018 on rape charges, and he secured bail on October 16, 2018.
The charge sheet names 83 witnesses, including the Cardinal of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Mar George Alencherry, three bishops, 11 priests and 22 nuns.
After the case came to light, Mulakkal was removed as head of the Jalandhar diocese.
On September 16, the survivor nun will be cross examined at court.