Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 18: Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of allegedly raping a nun at a convent in Kerala moved the High Court seeking anticipatory bail on Tuesday. The priest's petition will be heard by the court on September 25.
On Monday, the Bishop had written to the Vatican seeking Pope Francis' permission to step aside from his duties, which he had done earlier in any case in another letter.
In a circular dated September 13, Bishop Franco Mulakkal said: "I would like to thank all of you for your continued support and prayers for me at this time continued problems affecting my Episcopal ministry. As you have probably come to know from the media the investigation into the allegations raised against me there are several contradictions in the evidences collected against me as per the report of the police. It is reported am likely to be called for further clarifications by the investigating officer in Kerala."
The Jalandhar police has served a notice to the Franco Mullakal to appear before the Kerala police on September 19.
The Kerala nun rape case has also been brought to the notice of Vatican and a representative from the Vatican is already in India to discuss the issue with Archbishop of Delhi Anil Couto. The Archbishop is yet to take a decision in the matter.
The nun alleged that Bishop Mulakkal was using "political and money power" to "bury" the case against him. The nun has accused the clergyman of repeated sexual assault between 2014 and 2016.
The bishop has, however, dismissed the allegations as "baseless and concocted", insisting she levelled charges against the catholic order as it had rejected her demand for favours.