High Court Postpones Hearing on Bishop’s Anticipatory Bail Plea
Organiser   25-Sep-2018
Kerala High Court postponed the bail plea hearing of Bishop Franco Mulakkal to September 25. He had approached Kerala High Court seeking protection from the arrest on September 18. It is significant because his bail application was filed a day before he had to undergo the police interrogation. The court observed that police might arrest him if they think it is necessary after the interrogation.
 

 
Nuns staging protest in front of Kerala High Court 
 
Bishop intends to get the FIR quashed. The petition reads that the allegations raised by the nun were “wholly concocted and cooked up only to wreak vengeance for the action taken against her on the basis of various complaints against her.” It says, “therefore, she was inimical towards him as she was under the firm belief that he was the one who took action against her.”
Court Rejects Clean Chit to Mani in Bar Bribery
Special Vigilance Court in Thiruvananthapuram has rejected the Vigilance report in favour of former Finance Minister K M Mani in connection with the bar bribe scandal. The court stated that proper inquiry had not taken place. The court directed to seek the government’s permission for re-enquiry. This is a massive set back to Mani who has been enjoying some sort of euphoria after the favourable Vigilance report. It is a setback to CPM and LDF also. This new development has stalled their attempt to bring Mani to their fold. The case arose in the wake of the allegation that Mani accepted Rs 1 crore from the association of bar owners in the state to reopen the closed ones. Since the decision was not taken in their favour, the office bearers of the bar owners’ association approached the Vigilance department. In the wake of the allegations from CPM-led Opposition LDF, Mani had to resign from the cabinet. But, once he resigned, the very same CPM and LDF tried to woo him. It was due to this romantic links that he got a favourable Vigilance report under LDF regime, allegations suggested. LDF had even removed Special Public Prosecutor K P Satheeshan from the position, thanks to his strong stand against the Vigilance report in favour of Mani, despite being a staunch CPM supporter. Satheeshan has stated that his stand has been vindicated.
 
 
In the meantime, Bishop Franco wrote to Pope Francis requesting for permission to step down temporarily as the bishop or head of the Diocese of Jalandhar explaining that he has to spend more time to fight the legal battles.
The victim’s sister launched an indefinite hunger strike on September 18 in Kochi demanding the arrest of the bishop. Five nuns have been staging a protest in the same pandal. More activists have joined the hunger strike thereafter.
Meanwhile, the nuns’ satyagraha in Kochi bags more support from all sections of the society. Prominent social and cultural leaders participate in the agitation and address the gathering every day. Bharatiya Mahila Morcha state president Prof VT Rama and several Catholic priests have visited the pandal to express their solidarity.