Bishop Franco acquitted in nun rape case

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“Reward the Lord”, the Bishop instructed media individuals, whereas rising out of the court docket after the decision

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The Further District and Periods Court docket I in Kottayam on January 14 acquitted Bishop Franco Mulakkal, former head of the Latin Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, of all expenses in reference to a rape criticism filed by a nun in the identical diocese.

“Reward the Lord”, the Bishop instructed media individuals, whereas rising out of the court docket after the decision. He additionally broke down and embraced his legal professionals following the judgement

Earlier within the day, the police had beefed up safety on the court docket premises by taking into account a doable disaster within the regulation and order scenario.

Primarily based on a rape criticism lodged by a nun on June 29, 2018, the bishop was arrested on September 21 the identical yr. He was in jail for 25 days after the court docket remanded him.

The chargesheet towards the Bishop, which consisted of two,000 pages in three volumes, was submitted on April 4, 2019. The trial within the case commenced in November 2019 and concluded on January 10. Of the 83 witnesses listed by the prosecution, 39 have been examined throughout the trial.

The witnesses included Main Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, Bishop Kurian Valiyakandathil, Bishop of Bhagalpur in Bihar, and Bishop Sebastian Vadakkel of the diocese of Ujjain, and 11 monks and 25 nuns.

The bishop was arraigned as an accused within the case below Indian Penal Code Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 376 (2k) (rape on a girl incapable of giving consent), 376 (2n) (inflicting grievous bodily hurt throughout rape), 376 (c) (a) and 377 (unnatural offence), and 506 (1) (legal intimidation).

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