Bishop Franco Mulakkal case: court docket declines to intervene in nun rape case

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The case has attracted vital media consideration in India, the place it stays extraordinarily uncommon for members of the church to publicly accuse a superior of wrongdoing.

The ruling comes after an advocacy group filed a petition on behalf of the sufferer within the Kerala Excessive Courtroom Monday, asking for the rapid arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

The group, the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Motion (KCCRM), which is a part of an umbrella physique of unbiased teams referred to as the Joint Christian Council, in addition to a few of the nun’s sisters, have accused police of dragging their toes within the investigation as a result of stress from native politicians and church leaders. Police deny these allegations and say the investigation is shifting forward.

The court docket will now evaluate the investigation on September 24.

That is the second time in two months the nun’s supporters have petitioned the Kerala Excessive Courtroom to intervene within the case, and each requests have been denied.

The court docket mentioned Thursday it is comprehensible that the investigation has taken so lengthy on condition that two years have handed because the alleged sexual assaults, in line with Sandhya Raju, a lawyer engaged on behalf of the sufferer for KCCRM.

The 44-year-old nun, who has not been named, first filed a police report in June in Kochi in Kerala, accusing Mulakkal of raping her 13 instances from 2014 and 2016. The incidents purportedly occurred whereas Mulakkal was staying in Kerala in a visitor home belonging to the St. Francis Mission House.

Mulakkal presently serves because the bishop of Jalandhar, a metropolis in India’s northern Punjab state.

Representatives for Mulakkal informed CNN earlier this week that the Bishop is harmless.

“It’s a pretend allegation. We’re all with the bishop,” Father Peter Kavumpuram, a spokesperson for Mulakkal’s diocese informed CNN on Tuesday.

“We’re very clear relating to the conspiracy behind this. Nuns are parading exterior when the investigation is happening. There’s an anti-Christian motion, persons are making an attempt to control the reality,” he mentioned.

Christianity is a minority faith in India, practiced by simply 2.3% of the overall inhabitants, however Kerala is dwelling to a large Christian group that dates again a whole bunch of years.

Indian nuns demand arrest of bishop accused of rape

In accordance with current authorities figures, the southern state is dwelling to greater than 6 million Christians, or 19% of the overall inhabitants.

Ongoing case

Police have mentioned they’re in search of extra proof earlier than making an arrest, as it’s only the sufferer’s phrase towards the accused.

However as a result of the purported incidents occurred greater than two years in the past, police can have hassle discovering any laborious proof, mentioned Jayna Kothari, an lawyer and the director of the Heart for Legislation and Coverage Analysis in Bangalore.

“In a rape case, the Supreme Courtroom has repeatedly held that the testimony of the sufferer must be sufficient. The issue is that though the felony process court docket doesn’t give any time restrict to file a case, the final follow is that the police develop into very reluctant to take a felony criticism if it is filed after a very long time,” Kothari mentioned.

“Her testimony must be sufficient, however in follow, if it occurred a very long time in the past, the police attempt to use that to say we do not know if this individual is mendacity or telling the reality, we need to do extra investigations.”



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