Thiruvananthapuram: Franco Mulakkal, accused in the alleged rape of a nun and former Bishop of Jalandhar Diocese, has moved an anticipatory bail plea in Kerala High Court on Tuesday.
The bail plea would be heard by Justice V. Raja Vijayaraghavan later in the day.
Amid growing calls for arrest, Mulakkal stepped down as the Bishop on Saturday, handing over temporary charge of the diocese to Father Mathew Kokkandam.
Later, he wrote to the Vatican, seeking permission to step down temporarily from Church responsibilities. Mulakkal handed over a letter to the representative of Pope stating that he needs more time to travel to Kerala and fight the case against him.
A Kerala nun accused the 54-year-old Bishop of raping her between 2014 and 2016. A police affidavit in the case has revealed that the victim was repeatedly raped by Mulakkal.
An FIR was registered against the Bishop, with the nun and other convent inmates giving detailed statements running into 114 pages.
Mulakkal has been summoned to appear before the Special Investigation Team of Kerala Police on September 19.
"A criminal case has been registered against Missionaries of Jesus for publishing a letter as well as a photo of the victim nun," Kottayam Superintendent of Police Harishankar told ANI earlier.
Mulakkal has denied wrongdoing and termed it a "conspiracy" against him.