Franco Mulakkal, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, filed a bail plea in Kerala high court on Tuesday, a day before he is to appear before the state police for questioning in a rape case filed by a nun.
The accused Bishop had earlier offered to step down in a written letter to the Vatican. The victim and her kin in the meanwhile have said that Mulakkal has been using his influence to derail the investigations and also intimidating them.
The Bishop had been summoned in connection with the probe into allegations of rape by a nun amid mounting pressure for action against him and continuing protests by Missionaries of Jesus nuns and officials of various churches for the past 10 days in Kochi.
An FIR was registered against the bishop and a 114-page detailed statement was taken from the nun and other inmates of the convent.
In June, a 43-year-old nun, also a mother superior, had complained to the police that Mulakkal, 54, had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016.
The nun is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation based in Punjab which runs two convents in Kerala.