Kochi: The Kerala High Court has granted bail to former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal in the sexual abuse case filed by a nun. The Kerala police arrested Franco Mulakkal on September 21 on charges of raping a nun of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation in Kottayam. The arrest of the high profile religious leader came 87 days after a nun filed a complaint of rape and sexual harassment in Kerala. 

Stringent conditions have been included in the bail granted. The most critical condition is not to enter Kerala and the court has directed Mulakkal to submit his passport at court.  He should sign before the officers once every two weeks. The court has also directed him to appear before the court when necessary. The court also advised him not to influence any of the witnesses.

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The prosecution had not opposed the bail plea strongly, police said. The state government too had mentioned that bail shouldn't be granted to Mulakkal. The court granted him bail since statements of seven nuns have been taken in secrecy and therefore, the court believes that Franco Mulakkal will not be able to influence the witnesses.

Earlier, the high court had informed that it is not necessary to hand over the investigation against Franco Mulakkal to the CBI. The High Court has clarified that the police should be able to handle the case independently. The court has handled all the public interest litigations filed in connection with the case. The court also asked whether there is any other intention behind the petitions.

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