Two more public interest litigations have been filed in the High Court of Kerala seeking proper investigation of the case where Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of Jalandhar diocese of Syro-Malabar Church, is accused of raping a nun.
In early August, one PIL was filed seeking arrest of the Bishop. That case was disposed of the High Court on August 13, noting that investigation was proceeding on the right track. It was also observed there that Court cannot compel investigating officer to arrest an accused, as it was a matter within the discretion of police.
The present PILs have been filed alleging that despite the passage of almost four weeks after the first PIL, no progress has been made in the investigation and that the Bishop was still not arrested. It was also pointed out that a nun, who was a witness in the case, had received threats to life, and no steps were taken by the police to afford witness protection, despite a specific request to that effect.
When the matters came before the Division Bench of Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar, the Public Prosecutor sought two days time to respond. Acceding to the request, the Court posted the matter on September 13.
The allegation is that the complainant was subjected to rape on multiple occasions between 6-5-2014 to 23-09-2016 by Franco Mulakkal abusing his dominant position. On the basis of her complaint, the Kuravilangad police registered Crime No. 746 of 2018 of Kuruvilangad Police for offences punishable under Sections 342, 376 (2)(k) and (n) , 377, and 506 (I) IPC.