Earlier many monks have confronted sexual harassment and assault expenses from believers, however that is the primary time one from the ordained flock turned towards the highly effective diocese head attracting widespread consideration.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala nun rape case, wherein a court docket in Kottayam on Friday acquitted bishop Franco Mullakal of all expenses, was the primary case within the nation wherein a bishop was the accused and the complainant was a nun who as soon as labored beneath him. Earlier many monks have confronted sexual harassment and assault expenses from believers, however that is the primary time one from the ordained flock turned towards the highly effective diocese head attracting widespread consideration.
The unusual case witnessed many twists and turns in three years together with some medical exams on the sufferer (there’s a bar on reporting court docket proceedings) and some witnesses have turned hostile. Though many activists and a miniscule part of the clergy rallied behind agitating nuns the highly effective church stood with the Bishop. And some church buildings in Kottayam held particular prayers every time he appeared within the court docket. And as soon as acquitted, Franco Mullakal did his routine, attending a holy mass in a church in Kallathipadi in Kottayam on Friday.
Interestingly, Mullakal was the primary to strategy the police. In a grievance to Kottayam SP S Harishankar within the first week of May 2018, he stated a nun and her relations had been planning to hoist a sexual harassment case on him for eradicating her from the put up of the Mother Superior. Later the police registered a case based mostly on his grievance. At that time the nun was reportedly operating round church heads together with her alleged rape compliant together with Cardinal Mar George Alancherry, the senior-most Catholic priest of the nation. She additionally appealed to the Vatican envoy, her fellow nuns later stated, including she turned to police as a final resort.
Almost a month later, she filed a grievance with Kuruvilanghad police station in June 2018 wherein she stated she was sexually assaulted by the bishop a number of instances between 2014 and 2018. She stated he additionally subjected her to unnatural intercourse and prison intimidation and she was scared to open up. In the FIR she stated the primary assault occurred on April 24, 2014 at room no. 20 of the church visitor home at Kuruvilanghad, Kottayam.
The case attracted nationwide consideration after 5 fellow nuns, who got here in assist of the sufferer, began a sit-in protest on September 8 in Kochi in search of the arrest of Mullakal. Their protests continued until his arrest on September 21, 2018. Mullakkal spent 25 days in jail, and later he obtained the bail. The particular investigation staff filed the charge-sheet on April 9, 2010 and the trial started in September 2020. Some of the witnesses had been high-profile ones. Besides Cardinal Allancherry and Bishops of Bhagalpur and Ujjain, 25 nuns and 11 monks had been there among the many 83 witnesses. Fourteen witnesses turned hostile.
There had been many makes an attempt to delay the trial and Mullakal’s discharge pleas had been rejected by the Kerala excessive court docket and the Supreme Court.The trial was additional delayed as a consequence of Covid-19 pandemic. During the trial in July 2020, Mullakkal reportedly abstained from listening to saying that his space was declared as a containment zone however later prosecution submitted a listing of the containment zones in Jalandhar wherein the Bishop’s home was not there. Later the court docket threatened to cancel his bail forcing him to look earlier than it throughout the trial.