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Timeline of Nun’s 2018 Rape Case Against Former Bishop

A court in Kerala on Friday acquitted Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the charges of raping a nun in a convent. The prosecution failed to produce evidence against the accused, PTI reported. Fifty-seven-year-old, Bishop Mulakkal was accused of raping the survivor nun multiple times during his visit to a convent. While the incident happened, Mulakkal was the Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Roman Catholic church. The rape case against the Bishop was registered by police in Kottayam district in June 2018.

Here’s a timeline of the case:

2017, June- In the first move of the case, the survivor nun wrote to Pala Bishop narrating her ordeal and complaining about Mulakkal. She accused him of raping, trying to intimidate her, her colleagues, and family members. Following this complaint, the survivor wrote to several authorities of the church, but no action was taken.

2018, June 17- After church authorities, the Nun lodged a complaint before the Kottayam District Police Chief, alleging Mulakkal raped her several times between 2014 and 2016.

2018, June 28, – FIR was registered based on the complaint, Mulakkal was charged under the IPC sections 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 376 (2)(k), 376(2)(n) (rigorous imprisonment for not less than 10 years), 376 C(a) (intercourse by superintendent of remand home etc), 377 (unnatural offences) and 506(ii) (criminal intimidation).

2018, July 5 – The survivor nun recorded her statement on camera.

2018, July 7- The National Women’s Commission (NCW) demanded a speedy probe in the matter.

2018, August 7- After massive criticism against the state government, the Kerala High Court sought the government’s response to the plea that demanded arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

2018, August 8 – A Special Investigation Team reached Jalandhar to interrogate Bishop Franco in the cases, while statements of nuns working at the mission’s office were recorded.

2018, September 11 – The survivor wrote to the Vatican ambassador to India seeking intervention to ensure justice. On the same day Bishop Franco lashed out at the survivor alleging anti-church people have sponsored her. Promises full cooperation with police investigation.

2018, September 12 – Missionaries of Jesus announced a probe against agitating nuns pressing for the arrest of Bishop Franco. Six nuns to be covered in the inquiry including the rape survivor.

2018, September 20 – Pope Francis relieved Franco Mulakkal of his pastoral duties.

2018, September 21 – Franco Mulakkal was arrested from the Tripunithura Crime Branch Police Station after a three-day interrogation.

2018, October 15- Mulakkal was granted bail by the Kerala High Court and he was directed not to leave the country.

2019, April 9- A chargesheet in the matter, running into 2000 pages was submitted by the investigating officer.

2020, January 20- Mulakkal filed a plea for discharge in case without a trial, claiming that he has been ‘falsely implicated’ by the nun for having initiated action against her on allegations by her cousin sister.

2020, March 16- Franco’s discharge petition dismissed by Additional Sessions.

2020, July 13 – Additional District and Sessions Court canceled Franco’s bail and issued an arrest warrant as the former Bishop failed to appear before the court.

2020, July 25- Franco moved to the Supreme Court seeking discharge.

2020, August 7- Mulakkal was granted bail for the second time by the Kottayam Additional District and Sessions Court.

2020, November 6 – Supreme Court dismissed Franco’s plea seeking review of its earlier order rejecting his discharge petition.

2022, January 10- Trial concluded. The court had restrained the print and electronic media from publishing any matter relating to the trial in the case without its permission.

2022, January 14- Mulakkal was acquitted by a Kerala Court in the matter.

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