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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Jalandhar diocese dismisses nuns’ DVDs tampering allegations against Franco Mullakal

The differences were found when the court verified the two sets of DVDs to hand over a copy to the counsel of the accused as per his request.

india Updated: Jul 29, 2019 12:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
File photo of nuns’ protest against bishop Franco Mullakal demanding justice for the nun who has accused him of sexual assault.
File photo of nuns’ protest against bishop Franco Mullakal demanding justice for the nun who has accused him of sexual assault.(Vivek Nair / HT File  Photo )
         

A day after protesting nuns of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation alleged that serious attempts were being made to weaken the rape case against the deposed bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mullakal, the Jalandhar diocese, on Sunday dismissed the accusation.

“How can the bishop manipulate the DVD which was in police custody,” a press release from the diocese said, adding, “Sister Anupama’s allegation that Bishop Franco is behind this manipulation of DVD, which was in the custody of DSP, Subhash, who filed the charge-sheet against Mulakkal, is unbelievable.”

The case against Mullakal surfaced in June 2018, after a 43-year-old nun, also a mother superior, complained to the police that he had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. Five nuns later staged a sit-in protest seeking his arrest.

The statement from the diocese added that such accusations were a regular tactic to deceive the public through unsubstantiated claims. The statement added that Sister Anupama had even branded the transfer of DSP Subhash as a conspiracy, even as this was a routine shifting. The judicial first class magistrate court in Pala (Kottayam) on Friday found differences in the contents of DVDs submitted by the forensic science laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram. The original DVDs, which contained details of contents of a laptop and mobile phone seized from Mullakal, had three folders. However, in the DVDs submitted by the lab, two out of three folders were blank.

“There are attempts to delay and weaken the case. We suspect DVDs, one of the evidence, were tampered with at the forensic lab. If the lab won’t correct its follies, we will be forced to move court,” Sister Anupama, one of the five nuns who sat on dharna in Kochi, seeking action against the bishop, had alleged on Saturday.

The differences were found when the court verified the two sets of DVDs to hand over a copy to the counsel of the accused as per his request.

First Published: Jul 29, 2019 12:09 IST

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