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Prosecution To File Appeal Against Franco Mulakkal’s Acquittal in Rape Case

Mulakkal was accused of raping a nun from the Missionaries of Jesus convent in Kuravilangad.

Published
India
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p> Jalandhar Bishop, James Franco Mulakkal. Image used for representational purposes.&nbsp;</p></div>
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A day after a Kerala court acquitted Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal of charges of raping a nun, the prosecution decided to file an appeal against the verdict, The News Minute reported.

It was alleged in the case that Mulakkal had raped the nun from the Missionaries of Jesus convent in Kuravilangad, Kottayam, between 2014 and 2016.

The survivor had alleged that Franco raped her 13 times during his visits to the convent between those years.

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Kottayam Additional District and Sessions Court-I G Gopakumar, who delivered the verdict, had said in his order that "in view of the inconsistent version of the victim, this court is of the view that she cannot be categorised as a sterling witness."

Referring to minor changes in deposition, the judgment further said that "there is no consistency in the statement of the victim."

The testimony of one of the witnesses, also a nun, was discredited after she had written to her superiors saying her statement was given under police pressure and was not true, the report said.

The nun had later said that she had written the letter fearing consequences from the congregation for cooperating with the investigation.

The appeal against the acquittal, TNM reported, will be made on the grounds that many of the prosecution's witnesses were discredited for minor reasons.

Another reason for the acquittal, as the order stated, was the delay in filing the complaint.

The order read that "though the prosecution has attempted to explain the delay ranging from four to two years, there is no satisfactory explanation of the delay."

It goes on to state that the survivor had started speaking up about the incident only after an allegation was made against her and the subsequent commencement of an inquiry into the matter.

The prosecution also plans to appeal against the court for not giving due appreciation to the reason behind the delay in reporting the incident.

(With inputs from The News Minute.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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