Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday granted conditional bail to Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal in the nun rape case. A single bench stipulated that the bishop should not enter Kerala during the bail period and should be present before the investigating officer once in two weeks on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. He has also been asked to surrender his passport.
The bishop has been asked not to try to influence the witnesses in the case, or destroy evidence and not to get in touch with the victim or her family members.
If he wants to enter Kerala for purposes other than those related to the case, he should seek prior permission of the relevant court. The court granted the bail considering the facts that the investigation into the case is in its final stages and that he has been in judicial custody since September 21. He has been asked to execute a bond of Rs 2 lakh in his own capacity and a surety of two persons for the same amount.
The court had earlier rejected the bail plea of the bishop on October 3 accepting the contention of the government that the investigation was in the preliminary stage and that the versions of the five witness nuns were still to be recorded. Though the prosecution informed the court that the versions of two nuns had not been recorded yet, when the fresh bail petition came up on Monday, the court granted bail considering the fact the investigation is in the final stages. The court did not accept the argument of the prosecution that there are still chances of the accused influencing the witnesses. The case is that the bishop sexually assaulted the accused nun, belonging to Kuruvilangad St Francis Home, 13 times from 2014 to 2016....