A state court in southern India has denied bail to a Catholic bishop accused of raping a nun on grounds that he could influence witnesses if released from jail.
The High Court of Kerala said that releasing Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar would not help the investigation or deliver justice in an “efficient, smooth and fair” manner, reported ucanews.com.
“The court finds no reason to conclude at this stage, at least prima facie, that the allegations levelled by the nun are false and frivolous,” the court order said.
It also said the bishop could use his high-profile position to influence witnesses, who are mainly members of the nun’s congregation, which functions under the authority of the bishop.
The Vatican removed Bishop Mulakkal from the administrative responsibilities of his diocese on 19th September.
Kerala police arrested him on 21st September after the 48-year-old nun complained to police on 28th July that the bishop raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The nun belongs to Missionaries of Jesus, a diocesan congregation.
Picture: Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, India, is led away for questioning by police on 21st September on the outskirts of Cochin. A state court in southern India has denied bail to Bishop Mulakkal who is accused of raping a nun on grounds that he could influence witnesses if released from jail. (CNS photo/Sivaram V, Reuters).