The infamous Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was accused of raping a nun numerous times between 2014 and 2016, has been finally acquitted by a Kerala court on 14th January.
Bishop Mulakkal is the first Catholic bishop in the country, who was arrested for rape, as a nun complained against him. Franco Mulakkal’s advocate claimed that his client had all through co-operated with the court and the police. The Bishop was charged with criminal intimidation, rape, and forceful confinement.
This high-profile case led to an unprecedented public outrage in Kerala more than three years ago, as thousands of nuns initiated an unprecedented protest against Bishop Mulakkal.
Judiciary ignores the change in the law on rape
In his order, the Additional Sessions Judge G Gopakumar of the Kottayam district court held that the victim’s statement is inconsistent. Under the law, the statement of the complainant in a rape case is considered sufficient evidence unless the defense can establish material inconsistencies in it. However, the court ignores this crucial fact.
The court referred to the cross-examination of the doctor and some portions struck off in the medical report. Shockingly the judge holds that although “it is revealed to the doctor that there were 13 episodes of sexual assault, there is no mention of penile penetration.”
What makes it more gruesome is that the court conveniently ignored the crucial 2013 amendment to the law on rape, all these instances classify as rape while the old law had restricted its definition to non-consensual peno-vaginal penetration.
The court even questions the conduct of the complainant, it holds that “in-fight and rivalry and group fights of the nuns, and the desire for position, control, and power over the congregation” were evident in the case.
Netizens expressing their utter disappointment with the Judiciary
As expected, this highly biased judgment raised a lot of eyebrows, and people have started pounding the judiciary for its obnoxious approach.
BJP Leader Priti Gandhi rapped apart this judgment and showed her solidarity with the victim nun.
People have raised questions over the ‘Influence’ of missionaries and the legal system. The church has shunned the nun and even threatened her.
Why Judiciary shows its Dual Standard?
People are questioning the dual standards of the judiciary, as their judgment shows how they act differently in different cases. This verdict is a big shock for the entire Indian legal system, where a survivor was suffering huge psychological pressure, she disclosed the assault to her fellow nuns, but still got nothing. This verdict will certainly send an utterly wrong message to society.
If we see other high-profile cases, such as Asharam’s case, the standards of the judiciary are quite different. Actor Dileep has been witch-hunted for a case where there is no evidence against him.
Is it because both of them are Hindus?
Bishop Franco Mulakkal is the Consultor for the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and also the Secretary of the Regional Bishops Conference of North India and
In June 2018, a nun accused Mulakkal of rape and filed a case with the Kerala police. The Kerala nun alleged that she was raped by Bishop Mulakkal 13 times between 2014 and 2016 on his visits to a convent in the Kottayam district in Kerala. Later, three other women accused the bishop of sexual misconduct.
In September 2018, the Kerala police arrested Bishop Mulakkal and a judicial magistrate sent him to 14-day custody. He was granted bail on October 15, 2018. He was formally charged by the Kerala police in April 2019.
The trial finally commenced in 2020, then Mulakkal approached the Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court with a plea to quash the charges against him. However, the courts refused to entertain the plea and directed him to stand trial.
Why no one is saying – I am ashamed of being a Christian?
Nuns who had spearheaded the protest against Mulakkal, Sister Anupama, expressed disbelief at the verdict.
Nuns expressed their utter disbelief in this judgment and said that “We cannot believe this verdict. We will continue this fight until the day our fellow sister gets justice, even if it means we have to die. All the testimonies were in our favor so we don’t know what happened in court. We will definitely appeal in the higher court.”
Well, you see that no Secular Liberal groups or Feminism activists are raising their voices in support of these nuns. Now assume their aggression if the accused was a Hindu priest, they would have gone to United Nations by now.
Remember how these people are crying when Asharam was framed in a sexual assault case? How did they blame Hindutva, and portray Hindus as repeated sexual offenders?
But as the accused is a Bishop, who is well supported by Church and Missionaries, these so-called activists are keeping mum on this issue. That’s the power of influence of Missionaries, how they manage media, judiciary, and even governments to ensure their people got scot-free, even after committing such heinous crimes.