Sister Abhaya Murder: Life Sentence for Father, Sister Post 28 Yrs
Father Thomas Kottoor and Sister Sephy, guilty of killing Sister Abhaya in 1992, sentenced to life imprisonment.
Father Thomas Kottoor and Sister Sephy were pronounced guilty of killing Sister Abhaya in 1992 and have been sentenced to life imprisonment by a CBI court in Thiruvananthapuram. On Wednesday, 23 December, Special CBI Judge Sanal Kumar ordered the sentence to the teenage nun’s killers in a case that has been awaiting justice for 28 years.
On 27 March 1992, Sister Abhaya, a Class 12 student, was found dead inside a well at the Pious X Convent in Kottayam, Kerala. Initially, the case was ruled as a suicide by the local police and the crime branch, but it was handed over to the CBI after several protests.
Kottoor’s counsel pleaded that since he is aged and a cancer and diabetes patient, he should be pardoned with minimum punishment. Sister Sephy pleaded to the judge that she was the breadwinner for her family.
The judge handed the two life imprisonment and asked them to pay a fine of Rs 5 lakh.
According to the charge sheet, Abhaya was killed because she was witness to an alleged immoral activity involving the priest and the nun. She was attacked with a blunt object before being dumped into the well, the CBI had claimed.
Sr Sephy and Father Kottoor were found guilty under Section 302 (Murder) and Section 449 (House-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with death) and Section 201 for destroying evidence under IPC.
The CBI took over the case in 1993 and submitted three reports: one closing it as a suicide, two reports stating that it was homicide, but insufficient evidence didn’t make for a strong case. All three reports were rejected by the court which sought for a fresh probe.
The accused in the case were finally arrested in 2008.
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