Kochi: Former Bishop Franco Mulakkal who was discharged of his pastoral duties on Thursday by the Vatican is most likely to be arrested at 7:30 PM on Friday. The Kerala nun rape accused was questioned by the Kerala Police for the third consecutive day over the rape allegations by a nun against him. The state police have been grilling Mulakkal for over two days now. The police on Friday said that they were contemplating a legal opinion as to whether Mulakkal can be arrested before his petition is disposed of. It must be noted that Mulakkal’s anticipatory bail plea is pending before the high court.

Senior Kerala Minister EP Jayarajan said, “Investigation is going in the right direction. The government is with the victim. The government is with the nuns staging the protest. Certainly, the government will take all necessary steps to identify the culprits and bring the guilty to book.” On the other hand, Kottayam Superintendent of Police (SP) Hari Sankar had said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the case, is likely to finish its proceedings by Friday.

The Vatican had relieved Mulakkal of the administrative responsibilities of Jalandhar diocese of Missionaries of Jesus on September 20. The decision came after Mulakkal had written a letter to the Vatican to discharge him of his duties as he needed time to fight the case.

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court had agreed to hear Mulakkal’s anticipatory bail plea on September 25. The court has also asked the state government to file an affidavit.

Mulakkal has been refuting the allegations levelled against him saying that a conspiracy has been hatched by a group of people who are against the church. Mulakkal said, “I feel there are people who are against the church, they’re using these sisters. This is a conspiracy and several people are taking advantage of the situation, they are putting sisters at the forefront.”

He also accused the nun of lying as he had ordered action against her in the past. “The nun is lying, made up the case against me because I had ordered action against her. Police have no evidence against me that’s why they have not arrested me,” said the former Bishop.