Kerala High Court to Government: Inform probe progress
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the state government to inform the progress of investigation in the case against Franco Mulakkal, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar for sexually abusing a nun.
The court issued the order on two public-interest litigations alleging apathy of the state police in not arresting the accused bishop. In his petition, Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement (KCRM) executive committee member George Joseph K alleged that even though the police had registered first information report on June 28 and recorded the statement of the nun under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the bishop was yet to be arrested or interrogated.
By not bringing the accused within the ambit of law despite clear evidence was a major flaw in investigation. The petitioner also submitted the delay in arresting the offender causes an apprehension of injustice which dissolves the confidence among the public.
The Bench orally observed that nobody was above law and no one should have any misconception about it.
The court also noted the submission of the petitioner that the investigation officer filed a report stating the bishop had committed an unnatural offence and committed rape on the victim repeatedly on different dates from May 5, 2014, to September 23, 2016, by abusing his dominant position as Bishop of Jalandhar.
However, no steps have been taken to arrest the accused. The single judge had earlier disposed of a similar
plea pointing that the arrest of the accused was within the discretion of the investigating officer. The petitioner submitted that almost four weeks have elapsed since the disposal of the petition, but no progress has been made in the matter of arrest of the bishop.
Niranam Bishop supports nun
Tiruvalla: Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, the metropolitan of Niranam Diocese of Syrian Jacobite Church, expressed solidarity with the nun. “Always with the victims, be it in politics or Churches” he wrote in a Facebook post.