New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS): The Supreme Court has dismissed the review petition filed by Bishop Franco Mulakkal seeking directions to discharge him from the Kerala nun rape case.
The apex court order has cleared the way for him to stand trial in the case.
In August this year, the apex court had dismissed his plea seeking discharge from the case. The cleric had subsequently filed a petition seeking review of this decision.
Ruling on this, a bench, headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, said: "Application for oral hearing in open court is rejected. We have perused the review petition and the connected papers. We do not find any error in the order impugned, much less an apparent error on the face of the record, so as to call for its review. The Review Petition is, accordingly, dismissed."
Bishop Franco had maintained that he has been falsely implicated in the alleged rape case, and the allegation have been made to seek personal revenge, after he initiated disciplinary proceedings against the nun for financial irregularities.
In August, a bench headed by Chief Justice, dismissing his plea, had told the bishop's lawyer: "You don't have a case, we do not see any merit in your petition."
The Kerala High Court had also dismissed his plea seeking discharge from the rape case and directed him to appear for the trial. First, he moved a local court in Kerala seeking discharge. This plea was dismissed in March this year, following which he moved the High Court.
While serving as Bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, he was accused of raping a nun, who belonged to the Missionaries of Jesus congregation. During his visits between 2014 and 2016 to Kerala, he was accused of raping the 43-year old nun on 13 occasions. Later, he was removed from the charge of the Jalandhar diocese.
The complaint was filed against him in June 2018 in Kerala and in April 2019, a charge sheet was filed naming him.