Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, July 8
As per news reports, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, told a trial court in Kerala that he was unable to appear in person as his residence in Jalandhar was located in a containment zone. Going by the reports of the district health authorities and the local administration, he clearly made a false submission.
Doctor cites guidelines
If a minimum five Covid cases are reported from a particular area, it is declared a containment zone. But Civil Lines has not been in any such zone. — Dr Harish Bhardwaj, Civil Hospital, Jalandhar
The Bishop’s House is in Civil Lines, an area that has not been declared a containment zone so far.The same has been checked with the local administration. Dr Harish Bhardwaj, Civil Hospital, Jalandhar, citing the guidelines, explained: "If a minimum five Covid cases are reported from a particular area, it is declared a containment zone. But Civil Lines has not been in any such zone.”
When contacted, Father Peter, PRO of the Jalandhar Diocese, claimed that the Bishop had sought the permission of the district administration to travel to Kerala for the court hearing,"but he did not get it”. However, Jalandhar DC Ghanshyam Thori denied receiving any such request and so did SDM (Jalandhar-1) Dr Jai Inder Singh. “Since Bishop Mulakkal's lawyer, whom we met on June 29 and 30 in his office, has tested positive for Covid, we too have undergone tests at the local Civil Hospital. The test reports are expected any time now," Father Peter further told The Tribune.
The Bishop's lawyer, Mandeep Sachdev, claimed he was not aware of the Bishop’s submission in the trial court.
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