HC raps CBI probe in Abhaya case

The Kerala High Court on Thursday expressed its displeasure over the manner in which the CBI probed the Sister Abhaya murder case and asked the investigating agency to submit a copy of the chargesheet on August 10. The CBI had furnished the chargesheet in the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court (CJMC) in Kochi on July 17, even as the narcoanalysis of three accused were pending.

Justice K Hema pulled up the CBI for its failure to stick to the directions of her Bench, which had granted bail to the accused priests and the nun. “The probe lacked transparency. The investigating officer should be keen to find out the truth,” the court said.

While giving bail to Thomas Kottor, Jose Puthrukkayil and Sister Sephy in January, the court had said the original CDs of the narcoanalysis tests of the accused should be retrieved as the ones submitted in the court were edited and tampered with. However, the CBI last week submitted a report in the CJMC saying the CDs had not been tampered with as earlier suspected.

Citing the CBI report, Abhaya’s father Thomas moved a contempt petition in the HC, which had earlier asked the CBI to find the original CDs. While hearing the petition, CBI counsel A V S Namboothiri informed the HC on Thursday that the chargesheet was submitted in the CJMC even as the probe was continuing. The court subsequently asked the agency why it had hurriedly submitted the chargesheet when narco tests of three others were yet to be conducted.

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