Franco Mulakkal, who stands as an accused and remains in judicial custody since September 22 in the nun rape case, has moved an application for regular bail before the High Court of Kerala.
Franco Mulakkal, the erstwhile Bishop of Jalandhar, was arrested by the Kerala Police on September 21 after three days of continuous interrogation. He was thereafter remanded to judicial custody, which now has been extended till October 6. Bishop Franco had earlier moved an application for anticipatory bail before the high court. The plea for anticipatory bail has now become infructuous due to the above developments.
In the bail plea filed by the Bishop, he stated that he had appeared before the Investigating officer pursuant to Section 41 A notice on September 19. The applicant further stated that he was, without any justifiable grounds, arrested on September 21 at 8 pm and produced before the court of Judicial First Class Magistrate, Pala, on September 22 and remanded to judicial custody. His application for bail before that court too was dismissed on the said date. Hence he has preferred the present application for regular bail before the High Court of Kerala.
In the bail plea, the applicant contended as follows:“Pursuant to notice, the applicant obediently came from Punjab and appeared before the investigating officer on 19/09/2018 for co-operating with the investigation. The applicant appeared and was questioned for more than 8 hours at Crime branch office, Tripunithura by the investigating officer and District Police Chief, Kottayam. After the questioning on 19.09.2018, the applicant was asked to appear again on 20.09.2018. The applicant appeared at crime branch office Tripunithura on 20.09.2018 and co-operated with the investigation. Thereafter, he was asked to appear before the investigating officer again on 21.09.2018 and the petitioner promptly appeared. Unfortunately, without any justifiable grounds, the applicant was arrested on 21.09.2018, at 20.00 hours. Arrest of the petitioner is a high handed exercise to interfere with the judicial process. This Hon’ble court had seized of the matter and unjust for the police to arrest the applicant on 21.09.2018, especially considering the fact that applicant was co-operating with the investigation even when he was in Jalandhar and that he had come to Kerala from Punjab to co-operate with the investigation. Arrest of the applicant is virtually interfering with the powers of this Hon’ble Court. The arrest of the applicant without having his anticipatory bail application considered by this Hon’ble Court is a violation of his fundamental right to approach the constitutional courts for relief.”
Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan, who considered the bail plea, adjourned the same to Thursday (September 27) for further hearing.