The Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Pala, on Friday extended the bail granted to Bishop Franco Mulakkal, an accused in a nun rape case.
Considering the case, magistrate S. Lakshmi posted further hearing in the case to June 7. The bishop, who appeared before the court in the morning, was given copies of the chargesheet, statements, and other related documents for verification under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
After the completion of the proceedings, the court will commit the case to the Principal Sessions Court, Kottayam, taking into account the nature of the case and gravity of the punishment.
Bishop Franco, who reached the State a day earlier, reached the court around 10.20 a.m. accompanied by a few family members, priests, and the laity from various dioceses. He also spoke to the laities and blessed them before entering the court room.
As per the prosecution, Bishop Franco raped the nun on several occasions at the St Francis convent, Nadukunnu, in Kuravilangad. The bishop has been arraigned as an accused in the case under Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 376 (2k) (rape on a woman incapable of giving consent), 376 (2n) (causing grievous bodily harm during rape), 376 (c) (a) 377 (unnatural offence), 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Along with the chargesheet, the SIT also submitted 101 documents before the court.
It has listed 83 witnesses, including Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry, Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of the Pala diocese, Bhagalpur Bishop Kurian Valiyakandathil, and Bishop Sebastian Vadakkel of the Ujjain diocese.