Kerala nun’s death: CBI officer to appear before court

August 5th, 2008 - 3:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, Aug 5 (IANS) Kerala High Court Tuesday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer who conducted the probe into the mysterious death of a nun, Sister Abhaya, in 1992 to appear before it Aug 12. Justice V. Ramkumar has posed 10 questions to the CBI. He has also asked the director of the Bangalore-based Central Forensic Science Laboratory, which conducted narco-analysis tests of two priests and a nun in connection with Sister Abhaya’s death, to send the original CD of the tests to the high court registrar and not to the CBI.

On Monday, the judge had expressed his displeasure at the manner in which the CBI had conducted the narco-analysis tests. After seeing the CD, which the CBI had submitted July 23, Ramkumar told the open court that the official who had conducted the test was not familiar with the Malayalam language.

Sister Abhaya, a resident of Pious X Hostel near here, was found dead in the well of the convent March 27, 1992.

The CBI concluded in November 1996 that the death was a homicide but the murderer remained untraced. The Kerala Police earlier dismissed the case as suicide.

Three previous CBI teams have failed to crack the mystery behind Abhaya’s death.

The counsel for CBI has for long been saying that Abhaya was murdered but there was lack of evidence to nail the culprits. He also says that evidence has been destroyed during the previous investigations done by the local police and the Crime Branch.

A new team was appointed June last year after Joe Mon Puthenpurackal, a social activist who formed the Abhaya Action Committee in 1992, met the CBI director and demanded a fresh probe.

The 16-year-old case came back into the limelight in April last year after a newspaper reported that Abhaya’s medical reports had been tampered with at the Chemical Examiners Laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram.

Two officials of the laboratory, suspected of having tampered with the report, are currently on bail.

The case has seen several ups and downs. Last month, the CBI suddenly transferred R.M. Krishna, the team leader who had done the narco-analysis test of the two priests and the nun in Bangalore last year.

The new official who has taken over the investigation is R.S. Punia.

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