HC expresses satisfaction over probe into nun's rape charge

The Kerala High Court expressed satisfaction over police investigation into the allegations of rape levelled by a nun against a Roman Catholic bishop, noting that it was being  conducted in a fair and professional manner.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar made the observations in its order after perusing a report of the investigating officer in the case submitted by the state Director General of Prosecution.

"We are of the prima facie view that the investigation is being conducted in a fair and professional manner and at this stage, it would be inappropriate for the court to issue any specific direction on the conduct of the probe," it said.

The court was hearing three separate petitions alleging that the police investigation in the case against Jalandhar diocese Bishop Franco Mulakkal was "ineffective".

One of the petitioners has sought a CBI probe into the case, which has caused public outcry with mounting pressure for action against the bishop.

The court had on September 10 sought to know the steps taken by the government to ensure the safety and security of the nun.

Considering a plea filed by George Joseph of the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement seeking a court-monitored probe into the case, it had asked why no steps have been taken to ensure  the nun's safety and security.

In its order on Thursday, the court said the alleged incident took place some years ago and it was quite natural that the probe was taking time.

Any hasty investigation would only allow the accused to go scot-free, it said and posted the petitions to September 24 for further hearing.

(Agencies)