Kerala nun’s death: Court unhappy with narco analysis CD

August 4th, 2008 - 3:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, Aug 4 (IANS) The Kerala High Court Monday expressed its displeasure at the manner in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had conducted the narco-analysis tests of two priests and a nun in connection with the mysterious death of Sister Abhaya in 1992. Justice V. Ramkumar who saw the CD, which the CBI had submitted July 23, raised doubts about the narco-analysis and told the open court that the official who had conducted the test was not familiar with the Malayalam language.

The counsel for CBI once again said that Abhaya was murdered but there was lack of evidence to nail the culprits. He added that evidence had been destroyed during the previous investigations done by the local police and the Crime Branch.

Following the arguments, the judge posted the case for hearing Tuesday.

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.

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, R.S. Punia, who replaced Krishna, has already taken over the investigation.

A former CBI official Varghese Thomas, who had investigated the case in the 1990s, last week deposed in a court here that there was immense pressure from then prime minister P.V. Narashima Rao to cover up the case and close it as a suicide.

Thomas said that he had then resigned from service as he was unable to withstand the pressure.

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