In a major victory to protesting nuns  Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Jalandhar Diocese on Saturday stepped down from his post.

The developments came a night after the Jalandhar Police received a summons for the Bishop in connection with an investigation in Kerala on September 19.

The Bishop is accused of raping a nun 30 times between 2014 and 2016.

Sources said the Bishop has stepped down temporarily in the wake of his 

appearance before the investigators.

Following this development  Mathew Kokkandum has been appointed as administrator of the Diocese during his absence.

The Bishop, in his official communication to all Fathers, Sisters and Brothers of the Diocese, has said that the new administrator will look after the normal practice when he is away.

.The Bishop has also appointed Father Joseph Thekkumkattil as Dean of Tanda Deanery and Father Subin Thekkadathu as Parochial Vicar, St Mary’s Church, Tanda.

There are indications that he may be arrested after being questioned by the Kerala police next week

The Bishop has denied all allegations against him terming it a conspiracy.

In another development   Vatican, the highest seat of authority in the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, has formed a one-member panel to probe the rape allegations against the Bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mulakkal.

The development followed after the nun wrote to the Apostolic Nunciature – the representative of the Pope in India- describing the ordeal she allegedly went through at the hands of Bishop Mulakkal.

Sources indicate that a church representative from India is in the Vatican to discuss the issue of a rape charge against the Bishop by a Kerala-based nun.