Kerala Church Whipping up Communal Passion after Rape and Murder !

published on December 16, 2008



CBI seeks
transfer of Abhaya case from Hema’s bench

PNS |
Kochi

In a major development in the Sr Abhaya murder case, the CBI on
Tuesday approached the Kerala High Court Chief Justice seeking transfer of the
hearing on the bail petition of the accused from the bench of Justice K Hema,
who, according to the agency, was asking for discussion on the findings in the
open court.

The CBI’s plea came even as the Chief Judicial Magistrate,
Ernakulam extended the judicial remand of Fr Thomas M Kottoor, Fr Jose
Puthrukayil and Sr Seffi of the Knayanay Catholic Church, first, second and
third accused in the murder case. The remand period, which ended on Tuesday, was
extended till December 29. The three church personalities were arrested on
November 19.

The CBI told the CJM Court that the Knanaya Church was
trying to whip up communal passion through intense public relations exercise. In
support of the contention, the CBI counsel produced before the court the notices
and pamphlets published by the Knanaya Church’s Kottayam Archdiocese Alertness
Committee.

The agency submitted in the court that the Church’s activity
could lead to communal conflicts and even to law and order problems. The Knanaya
Church, after the arrest of the three accused, had held massive public relations
campaigns like protest fasts and prayer meetings.

The CBI counsel on
Tuesday filed a petition before the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court
praying to shift the hearing on the bail pleas of the accused from the bench of
Justice Hema to some other bench. The agency pointed out that revelation of all
evidences regarding the case and discussion on them at the insistence of the
judge would seriously affect the investigation.

Justice Hema had on
Monday called all the evidences in the case and had discussed them in the open
court. The CBI said that this was against the interests of the investigation.
The examination of the bail pleas would continue on Wednesday.

The CBI
had on Monday itself told Justice Hemathat that presentation and discussion of
all the evidences including the case diary in the open court would adversely
affect the investigations. The CBI opposed the idea of examination of the case
diary in depth in the open court at this juncture would endanger the strength of
the investigation.

Legal experts said that the CBI could be afraid that
Justice Hema’s procedure in the case could create complications for the agency,
which had been building the case from very difficult backgrounds. According to
them, the CBI counsel had several times expressed the agency’s displeasure at
Justice Hema’s seemingly pointed questions about aspects of the case which were
not relevant to the examination of the bail petitions.

Justice Hema had
defended her style saying that denial of bail could be done only if there were
prima facie evidences against the accused. She added that if the argument for
denying bail was on the basis of the result of the narco-analysis it would not
stand the test of law.

The CBI counsel had responded by saying that
narco-analyses result was not the only evidence but the witness depositions and
circumstantial evidences were against the three accused. When the judge asked
the CBI counsel whether the statement of the doctor who performed the autopsy on
Sr Abhaya’s body had been taken, the CBI made its displeasure known by
responding that they had not got time for that because half of their
investigation time was being spent in the court.

The High Court would
also take up on Wednesday the petition filed by 18 nuns of the St Joseph’s
Convent in Kottayam and an inmate of the St Pius X Convent in Kottayam, where Sr
Abhaya had lived, complaining about CBI persecution in the name of questioning.
Mother Superior Sr Annie John of the St Joseph’s Convent was one of the
petitioners.

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