SC dismisses Bishop Franco Mulakkal’s discharge plea in Kerala nun rape case

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he case emanated from a complaint filed by a nun in his diocese in June 2018 that she was raped by the bishop 13 times between 2014 and 2016 during his visits to her convent in Kottayam district.

In a huge setback to former Jalandhar Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the Supreme Court on Thursday, November 5, dismissed his plea for discharge from the 2018 nun rape case.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramandismissed his review petition as well as an application for open hearing.

Notably, according to the Supreme Court Rules, the review petition is considered by judges on the basis of documents in their chamber without the presence of counsel. In its November 3 order, the bench said, "We do not find any error in the order impugned, much less an apparent error on the face of the record, so as to call for its review. The review petition is, accordingly, dismissed."

With the current order, the bishop’s legal option to escape from the trial, which is already going on in a special court in the state has ended. He had filed the plea for a review of the August 5 Supreme Court order dismissing his discharge petition.

Appearing for Mulakkal, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi sought to convince a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde that his client was being made a victim for action taken against the nun. The court then had made it clear that the accused had no case as it could not find any met in the petition.

The trial in the case is scheduled to resume in the trial court on November 12. The case emanated from a complaint filed by a nun in his diocese in June 2018 that she was raped by the bishop 13 times between 2014 and 2016 during his visits to her convent in Kottayam district. He was arrested by Kerala police in September 2018 (with inputs from agencies)

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