Kochi: Trial Court in Kochi has warned Bishop Franco Mulakkal of arrest and cancellation of bail for failing to appear for Court hearing 13 times. Lawyers for the clergyman had sought adjournments 13 times.
The Trial Court had summoned Bishop Franco on July 1, 2020. But he failed to appear for the 13th time.
Bishop Franco’s lawyers told the Court that the Archdiocese of Jalandhar comes under containment zone restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic and the government authorities had not granted permission for Bishop Franco to travel out of Jalandhar.
The learned Judge however, was not willing to hear the excuses of the lawyers of Bishop Franco and stated, “I am sorry. But if Bishop Franco is not present at the next hearing, his bail will be cancelled and arrest orders will be issued.”
The Catholic Church leader has been summoned yet again for a Court hearing on July 13, 2020. If however, Bishop Franco fails to appear, he will be arrested again.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal is the first Bishop in India to be arrested on the accusations of raping and sodomising a Nun 13-times.