A writ petition has been filed in the High Court of Kerala seeking a directive to arrest Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of Jalandhar Diocese of Syro-Malabar Church, who stands accused for rape of a nun reported LiveLaw.in.
The petitioner is George Joseph K – an executive committee member of Kerala Catholic Reformation Movement.
In June, 2018, a nun of Catholic Church had raised the allegation that Bishop Franco had sexually assaulted her on several occasions. This led to an FIR being registered on June 28 for offence under Section 376, IPC. The nun also gave a statement to Magistrate under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure. However, there has been no move to interrogate or arrest the accused- states the petition.
“It is submitted that despite serious allegation and lodging of an FIR on 28th June 2018 against the said Bishop there has been no move to take effective action in the manner of taking him into custody. It is submitted that in regular matters relating to cognizable, non bailable offences there is mandatory arrest which is forgone in this case. It is submitted that in the normal case once a complaint is obtained, in the event a cognizable, non bailable offence is committed, even a warrant of arrest is not required.
But in this case, it appears to a concerted effort to give benefit of doubt to the accused as the survivor had approached courts late and the accused happens to be one of the top ranking officials of the religious order leaving the space open for intimidation and coercion.
Here is the entire petition shared on LIVELaw.in: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1A3VaJ9EU2zMU1-VLYibXAc1KQlg81g_b/view