Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun several times between 2014 and 2016, has been acquitted by a court in Kerala.
Franco Mulakkal was the first Catholic bishop in India to be arrested for rape, based on a complaint of a nun.
His advocate said that Franco Mulakkal had all through co-operated with the police and the court.
Franco Mulakkal was charged of rape, criminal intimidation, and forceful confinement.
A court in Kottayam acquitted him of all charges after a trial that lasted for more than 100 days.
In 2018, the nun from a congregation under the Jalandhar diocese had accused Bishop Franco of sexual assault.
Bishop Franco was arrested and the charges listed against him included wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation.
The allegations were followed by unprecedented scenes of protests by the nuns, who took to the streets in their official attire, demanding action from the church, police and the government.
Franco Mulakkal was arrested after three days of questioning by the police amid protests by the nun.
The then Kottayam district police chief S Hari Shankar said that the verdict has come as a shock. “There was strong evidence in this case. No witness turned hostile,” he said.