Kottayam (Kerala), January 14
The acquittal of Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal of costs of raping a nun in a Kerala convent by a court docket right here triggered emotional reactions on Friday as nuns who help the survivor expressed shock and dismay over the decision and stated they’d proceed the combat until justice is prevailed whereas the jubilant bishop urged followers to ‘reward the lord and be blissful’.
A gaggle of nuns of Kuravilangad Convent right here, who’ve been standing with the survivor in her combat, had been on the verge of tears once they stated they had been but to imagine such a verdict got here out from the court docket and they didn’t know what has occurred.
The survivor and her supporters keep in the Kuravilangad convent in this south Kerala district.
Sister Anupama, who was the face of the nun’s years-long combat for justice, stated they’d absolutely problem the decision in the upper court docket and take ahead the combat of their hapless colleague.
“We will proceed our keep in the convent and take ahead our combat until our sister gets justice. Police and prosecution confirmed justice to us however we didn’t get the anticipated justice from the judiciary,” the teary-eyed nun advised reporters.
In a damaged voice, she additionally stated the decision offers them a message that odd mortals like them ought to by no means break their silence towards any injustice and combat a case no matter occurred to them in the life.
“Those who’re rich and influential can do something in this society. That is what we see round us now. We have by no means felt something unusual until the time of argument of the case. We imagine it was sabotaged after that,” she stated.
When requested whether or not they can be protected in the convent they usually count on any ill-treatment from the church authorities in the wake of the decision, she stated they’d by no means been protected there they usually couldn’t reveal many issues occurring contained in the establishment.
Sister Anupama additionally made it clear that they had been even able to die to get justice for the survivor.
Meanwhile, a visibly relieved and emotional Mulakkal, who arrived in the court docket to listen to the decision, burst into tears, hugged his followers and legal professionals, sharing his pleasure over the decision.
“Only the bushes that bear fruits are stoned. I’m simply happy with that. Praise the Lord,” an elated bishop advised reporters outdoors the court docket.
When requested what he has to say to his followers and devoted, the priest urged them to reward the lord and be blissful.
Some of his followers had been even seen crying out of pleasure understanding the acquittal of the bishop.
Investigators, legal professionals and social activists who stood with the nun in her combat towards Mulakkal expressed shock over the decision, saying it was completely surprising.
Terming the decision as “very very unlucky” and “unnatural”, senior IPS officer S Harishankar, who had led the particular investigation workforce in the rape case, stated 100 per cent conviction was anticipated in the case and the decision can be an “astonishment” for all the authorized system of the nation.
In the case, the survivor was a nun and the assailant was an individual who was highly effective sufficient to resolve whether or not she ought to proceed to dwell or die.
“The argument that the lady ought to have reacted on the time of molestation is unacceptable. An enchantment will probably be filed in the upper court docket difficult this verdict. The state police chief already gave directions in this regard and an enchantment will probably be filed as quickly as we get a duplicate of the decision,” he advised reporters.
Even the supreme court docket made it clear a number of occasions that the sufferer’s assertion, whether it is constant and never having huge contradictions, is a passable piece of proof for conviction, he stated, including that it could give a flawed message to society and people struggling comparable assaults silently.
Public prosecutor, Jithesh J Babu, stated it was a single-line judgment and will avail the small print solely after getting the copy of the decision.
“We have no idea what has occurred. Thirty-nine witnesses have given their statements supporting the prosecution. No one has turned hostile. As many as 122 paperwork had been submitted and there was ample proof. There was no lapse in something,” he stated.
He additionally stated the decision can be challenged in the upper court docket and the choice can be taken after consulting with the federal government and the investigators.
Activist-nun Sister Lucy Kalappura, who took half in the survivor’s combat for justice and was expelled from her congregation just lately, stated the decision was regrettable and expressed hope that justice can be prevail at any price in the upper court docket.
In a short Malayalam assertion issued quickly after the decision, the Jalandhar diocese thanked those that believed in the innocence of the Bishop until date and offered him with the required authorized help.
“The prosecution has failed miserably in proving the fees towards the Bishop”, stated a lawyer in the Bishop’s authorized workforce.
Mulakkal, 57, was accused of raping the nun a number of occasions throughout his go to to a convent in this district when he was the Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Roman Catholic church.
As the prosecution failed to provide proof towards the accused, the Additional District and Sessions Court I, Kottayam, acquitted the Bishop.
The rape case towards the Bishop was registered by police in Kottayam district in June, 2018.
In her criticism to the police, the nun had alleged that she was subjected to sexual abuse by Franco between 2014 and 2016.
The Special Investigation Team which probed the case, arrested the Bishop in September 2018 and charged him with wrongful confinement, rape, unnatural intercourse and prison intimidation.
Trial in the case, began in November 2019, had concluded on January 10. The court docket had restrained the print and digital media from publishing any matter regarding the trial in the case with out its permission.