- Apprentice Lawyer
A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Tuesday convicted Father Thomas Kottoor and Sister Sephy in the murder case of Sister Abhaya.
Special CBI Judge, Thiruvanathapuram K. Sanilkumar delivered the verdict today.
The sentence will be pronounced tomorrow, that is December 23, 2020.
The verdict comes more than 28 years after Sister Abhaya was found murdered at a convent in Kottayam district of Kerala.
Her body was found inside the well of the convent on March 27,1992.
The case itself saw many twists and turns before it was eventually tried in court.
In 1993, the State police filed a closure report saying it was a case of suicide. The matter was then handed over to CBI after an activist, Jomon Puthenpurackal took it to court.
However, the CBI in 1996 filed a report stating it could not conclude whether it was a homicide or suicide. The Court, however, rejected the same and ordered re-investigation.
A year later, CBI concluded that the case was indeed a homicide but there was no evidence to try the case.
This was again rejected by the court and a third round of CBI probe began. Ten years later, the first arrests are made in the case when Father Thomas Kottoor, Father Jose Poothrukayil, and Sister Sephy were arrested and charged for murder in 2008.
They were later granted bail by the Kerala High Court in 2009.
This year, the High Court through a Bench of Justice VG Arun noted the long delays in the completion of trial and directed that the matter be heard on a day-to-day basis lest the wheels of justice come to a grinding halt.