A Kerala court on Thursday, 13 August, read out the charge sheet to rape accused former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal and set the date for commencement of trial on 16 September.
It was last week that Kottayam Additional Sessions Court ordered him not to leave the city till the charge sheet is read out, after the Supreme Court dismissed the petition filed by him seeking to discharge him in the Kerala nun rape case.
The important points in the charge sheet that runs over a thousand pages was read out to him, which he flatly denied.
Mulakkal on 7 August was granted bail by the Kottayam Additional Sessions court on after the trial court in July had cancelled his bail for failing to turn up for all hearings.
The court granted the bail on fresh bail sureties and had adjourned the hearing to 13 August. His new bail conditions had specified that until 13 August, he must not leave Kerala and must also be physically present for all subsequent hearings.
The prosecution, in the previous hearing, had also pointed out that the accused, who tested positive for coronavirus in July in Jalandhar, Punjab, had not submitted a COVID-19 negative certificate before the court.
Mulakkal was arrested on 21 September 2018 on rape charges, and he secured bail on 16 October 2018.
The charge sheet names 83 witnesses, including the Cardinal of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Mar George Alencherry, three bishops, 11 priests and 22 nuns.
After the case came to light, Mulakkal was removed as head of the Jalandhar diocese.
(With inputs from IANS and The News Minute.)
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