The nun, who claims to have been raped by Bishop Franco Mulakkal, has moved the Kerala High Court against his acquittal in the case by a trial court.

Just as the victim-nun moved the High Court to set aside the acquittal, the State government today granted sanction for filing an appeal against the trial court's January 14, 2022 decision.

On January 14, the Additional District and Sessions Court I, Kottayam, had acquitted the bishop, saying the prosecution failed to produce evidence against the accused (read report).

Mulakkal, 57, was accused of raping the nun multiple times during his visit to a convent in this district between 2014 and 2016 when he was the bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Roman Catholic church. The survivor is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, a diocesan congregation under the Jalandhar Diocese.

In her complaint to the police in June 2018, the nun had alleged that she was subjected to sexual abuse by Franco Mulakkal 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 sex and criminal intimidation.

The trial in the case, which started in November 2019, had concluded on January 10. The court had restrained the print and electronic media from publishing any matter relating to the trial in the case without its permission.

With PTI inputs