Nun’s Rape and Murder – High Court getting Tough on CBI

published on July 14, 2008

HC directs CBI to submit narco records

Pioneer News Service | Kochi

The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the CBI to submit in the court the compact discs containing the recording of the narco-analysis on two priests and a nun in the sensational Sr Abhaya murder case. The direction to CBI was to submit the CDs on July 24.
 
 

 
Considering the petition filed by M Thomas, father of murdered nun Abhaya, Justice V Ramkumar also examined the interim investigation progress report filed by the CBI team probing the case. The report was submitted in the court in a sealed cover.
 

 
The CBI team had earlier told the court that it had visually recorded the narco-analysis procedures on the two priests and the nun, held at the investigating agency’s Bangalore facility earlier this year. The analysis were carried out on priests Thomas Kottoor and Jose Puthukka and nun Sr Steffi.
 

 
Legal experts said that the direction to CBI from the court to present the CDs of the narco-analysis proceedings was significant in the context of the controversies over the shifting out of the head of the CBI probe team. The High Court had already expressed its displeasure at the way in which the CBI probe was progressing.
 

 
They said the High Court had demanded the CD of the narco-analyses recording to verify whether the probe by the CBI team into the murder was in the right direction. On July 4, the High Court had observed that the conduct of the CBI in the case seemed to have been influenced by external interferences.
 

 
Within a week, on July 9, the head of the CBI team probing the case was transferred just when the team was saying that the investigation was in its final stages. RS Puniya replaced RN Krishna, SP of the premier investigation body. Krishna was to join the Lucknow offices of the agency from where Puniya was transferred to Kochi to take over the Abhaya case investigation. Given history of the 16-year-old case, legal sources had suspected that this was yet another move to sabotage the probe, which had achieved huge breakthroughs recently, but CBI said the transfers were very normal.
 

 
The High Court had also on July 1 criticised the CBI for the delay in effectively concluding the probe in the case. It observed that the investigating agency’s conduct and probes were in a way that justified the allegation that there were external interferences.
 

 
Sister Abhaya was found murdered in the well of the St Pius X Convent, where she was a nun, on March 27,1992, in the wee hours of the day.
 

 
There were no convincing explanations from any quarter on the mysterious death of the nun. The earlier impression, based on the statements by the other nuns at the convent, was that she could have committed suicide due to some mental disorder.
 

 
Abhaya, daughter of M Thomas, Areekara, Kottayam, was a second-year pre-degree student at BCM College, Kottayam when she was murdered.
 

 
The college belonged to the diocese of Kottayam and she was a resident of the St Pius X Convent. Abhaya was said to be of good habits, normal behaviour, and was said to have been maintaining healthy and cordial friendship as per hostel rules and with all the inmates and absolutely had no mental disorder or any psychological aberration.
 

 
Initially, the local police investigated the case and wrote it off as suicide, based on the post-mortem report.
 

 
It was believed that they were forced to destroy key evidences such as the nun’s clothes and other personal belongings during the investigation due to external influences (The former police official, who investigated the murder and closed it as a case of suicide, had undergone narco-analysis in 2007).
 

 
During the initial inquiry, the post-mortem, chemical examination and laboratory report also had been erased and then rewritten due to external influences.
 

 
Reports also indicated that some laboratory officials had not been willing to cooperate with the police during the initial inquiry.

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