KOCHI: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Monday informed the Kerala High Court the investigation conducted so far revealed the accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar had raped the victim on several occasions at the guest room of St Francis Mission Home of Kuruvilangad. The prosecution also submitted a decision on the arrest of the bishop will be taken only after completing his interrogation and evaluating the evidence.
DySP K Subhash, the investigating officer, filed the statement in response to a petition by K George Joseph, Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement (KCRM) seeking an HC directive to arrest the bishop. The police stated ‘the available evidence collected so far revealed Bishop Franco committed an unnatural offence and committed rape repeatedly on different dates from May 6, 2014- September 23, 2016 by abusing his dominance over her as Bishop of Jalandhar. The offence was committed after confining her to the guest room no. 20 of St Francis Mission Home, Kuravilangad”.
The medical examination confirmed the nun had been raped. The police also recorded the statement of the victim under Section 164 of CrPC and she deposed she was subjected to the unnatural offence and raped by the bishop. The police checked the visitors’ register of the mission home and found the bishop visited and stayed there from May 5, 2014- September 23, 2016. Room no 20 where accused stayed on all occasions was subjected to scientific examination with the help of experts.
A look-out circular application submitted to District Police Chief, Kottayam had been dispatched to the authority concerned on July 10 to prevent theb ishop from fleeing abroad, the DySP submitted. The police recorded the statement of the doctor, who conducted the medical examination on the victim and she stated there was evidence of sexual assault.
The police questioned Cardinal Mar George Alenchery at his office and recorded his statement in detail. The notice was issued to him for furnishing documents related to the complaint in the case. The police seized the car in which Bishop Franco was visiting the convent. It also recorded the statement of the registered owner of the car and the person who drove the vehicle while the bishop was visiting the home. On July 30, Fr Antony Vattaparambil of Ernakulam Diocese was questioned and his statement recorded.