Kochi: The Additional Session Court in Kottayam, Kerala has framed charges of unnatural sex, illegal confinement and sexual intercourse by person in authority against senior leader of the Catholic Church of India – Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Archdiocese of Jalandhar.
The Additional Sessions Court Judge read out to Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was present in the court, the charges under various sections of the IPC including the punishment for offence for rape as it commenced trial proceedings in the sensational case.
The accused denied the charges against him.
The case was posted for September 16 for the victim’s examination.
He has been charged under various sections of IPC including 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 377 (Unnatural Sex), 376 (c)(a) Sexual intercourse by person in authority 376(2)(k) (indulging in sexual intercourse by exhorting authority), and 506 (criminal intimidation).
Last week, the Bishop was granted bail by the court with stringent conditions and directed him to be present on the dates of hearing of the case.
The Supreme Court had directed Bishop Franco Mulakkal to face trial as it dismissed his plea seeking discharge in the rape case lodged against him by the nun belonging to a congregation under Jalandhar diocese, saying there was no merit in his petition.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal is the first Indian bishop to be arrested over accusations of raping a nun. The nun accused the clergyman of raping and sodomising her 13-times over two years.
The victim appealed to the Catholic Church but senior leaders of the clergy maintained a stoic silence and did not address her sexual abuse grievance even at the Vatican.