Sr Abhaya Case: Plea of accused dismissed by HC

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Kochi, Nov 28 (UNI) The Kerala High Court today dismissed petitions filed by two priests and a nun, accused in the Sister Abhaya Murder Case, challenging the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Eranakulam remanding them in 14 days CBI Custody till December two.

Mr Justice R Basant observed the CJM's order was justifiable and there was no illegality in it.

The court, however, allowed Fr Thomas Kottoor, Fr Jose Puthurukkayil and Sr Sephi to meet their counsel at the CBI Office here tomorrow.

In its order, the court observed the CBI should also study the circumstances in which Former ASI V V Augustine, who had prepared the inquest report in the case, was found dead recently.

The judge observed if persons, who knew the facts, had cooperated with the investigation, the truth about Sister Abhaya's murder would have come out in 16 minutes.

There was an attempt to make the murder look like a suicide right from the beginning itself, the court observed.

The CBI had informed the court the accused were not cooperating with the investigation. The scientific evidence revealed their complicity and direct evidence could be procured only by interrogating them in custody.

The CBI submitted Sr Sephi was having overall control of the St Pius Xth Convent where the 21-year-old Sr Abhaya's body was found in a well in March, 1992 and nothing would have happened without her knowledge.Hence, their interrogation in custody was highly necessary.

The court observed in the aforesaid circumstances, there was no illegality in the order of the CJM's Court remanding the three accused in CBI custody.

The accused had challenged the CJM court's order on the ground the CBI had not given the exact description of the crime in the remand application and also did not produce the relevant portions of the case diary.

Following the court's direction, the CBI had yesterday submitted in a sealed cover the evidence against the three accused and related documents.

UNI XR ARC GM RR VC1700

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