Kuravilangad (Kottayam): A group of Catholic nuns in Kerala who have been standing rock solid behind their colleague who levelled rape charges against former Bishop Franco Mulakkal on Friday said the 'victim' did not get justice from judiciary.
Four nuns, who are inmates of the St Francis Mission Home at Kozha village in Kuravilangad where the complainant also stays, were reacting to the trial court's verdict that acquitted the former bishop from all charges. The nuns have been at the forefront of the protests seeking justice to their colleague after she came out with the complaint against the top clergyman and the case rocked the state.
"The victim did not get justice. In fact, the judiciary failed to deliver justice which we had got from the police and prosecution. We will continue to fight for justice no matter what comes," one of the nuns told media persons on the convent premises.
The nun said the verdict has proven that those with money and power can get away with any crime they commit. "Common people like us should remain silent and shouldn't complain," the nun said, struggling not to break down.
Asked if they suspected any foul play behind the verdict, she said, "everything has been fine until the trial period. The case was undermined after that." She said they will file an appeal against the verdict.
Sister Lucy Kalappurackal, another nun who has been engaged in a long battle with the Church, also expressed dissatisfaction over the verdict. "There's no doubt that the victim didn't get justice. Further steps have to be initiated to ensure that she gets justice," she said.
The Additional District and Sessions Court II on Friday acquitted Franco Mulakkal on the charges of raping the nun.
He was acquitted as the prosecution failed to produce evidence.
Mulakkal, 57, was accused of raping the nun multiple times during his visit to the convent located in Kottayam district when he was the Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Roman Catholic church. In her complaint to the police in June 2018, the nun had alleged that she was subjected to sexual abuse by Franco between 2014 and 2016.
The rape case against the Bishop was registered by police in Kottayam district in June, 2018.
The Special Investigation Team which probed the case, arrested the Bishop in September 2018 and charged him with wrongful confinement, rape, unnatural sex and criminal intimidation. That month itself Mullakal had stepped down from his position.
Trial in the case started in November 2019 and concluded on January 10.