Kochi, April 10, 2019: The Kerala high court on April 9 dismissed revision petitions filed by a priest and a nun seeking discharge in the murder of Sister Abhaya and directed them to stand trial in the case.
Sister Abhaya was found dead in the well of the Pious X Convent in Kottayam on March 27, 1992. It was initially concluded that she had committed suicide.
However after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe, Fathers Thomas Kottoor and Jose Poothrukayil of Kottayam archdiocese and Sister Sefi were arrested and charged with murder in 2008.
According to the CBI chargesheet, the priests were allegedly having an illicit relationship with Sister Sefi. On March 27, 1992, Sister Abhaya allegedly saw one of the priests and the nun in a compromising position, following which she was allegedly hacked with an ax and thrown into the well.
On April 9, Justice Sunil Thomas upheld the 2018 ruling of a CBI special court that there was sufficient evidence against Father Kottoor and Sister Sefi. Father Poothrukayil was discharged on the ground of inadequate evidence by the CBI court.