Police Station: Kuravilangadu Police Station
FIR Number: 746
Addl. District and Sessions Judge – I, Kottayam
While dismissing a Revision petition filed by a Catholic bishop accused of raping a nun, the Kerala High Court Tuesday(06/07/2020) ordered that he must face trial in the case. The rape victim nun is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation based in Punjab.
The court said there was no reason to interfere in the lower court’s decision. The trial court must evaluate the credibility of the case by evaluating the evidence, circumstances and facts. The defendant cannot be released on account of slight discrepancies in the initial statement or confidential statement. In this case, not only the victim nun, but four other witnesses had also complained before the magistrate.
Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal came under fire in June 2018, when the victim nun (43), also a Mother Superior, had complained to the police in Kottayam that a Bishop worked for gain in Jalandhar had raped her several times between 2014 and 2016 at a convent in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district. The accused Rapist was arrested by a SIT in September 2018 after several rounds of questioning. He was under custody for 40 days before granting bail. After satisfied with the facts and evidence collected through investigation the SIT submitted the charge sheet u/s 173 of Cr.P.C before the magistrate in Kottayam.
Finding of the Trial Court:
IN THE COURT OF SESSION, KOTTAYAM DIVISION
Present: Sri. Gopakumar G., Addl. Sessions Judge-I.
Monday, the 16th
day of March, 2020
Crl.M.P. Nos.195/2020 & 475/2020 in
(Crime No.746/2018 of Kuravilangad Police Station)
Crl.M.P. No.195/2020 in S.C.No. 457/2019
1. It is held that the thirteen instances of rape and other sexual assault alleged by the prosecution are closely connected in proximity of place, continuity of action, commonality of purpose and design, that they can be treated as one forming a single transaction and can be tried together under sec 220(1) of Cr.P.C.
2. It is also held that since there are allegations of repeated acts of rape, proof of more than one instance of rape would result in the commission of 376(2)(n) IPC, which being a distinct offence, each of the single instances of rape can be tried along with the distinct offence of 376(2)(n) IPC, under sec. 220(4) of Cr.P.C.
3. It is held that there are prima-facie materials to frame charges under sec. 342, 376(2)(k), 376(2)(n), 376 C(a), 377, 354 and 506(ii) of IPC.