Probe role of apex court judge, appeals Sister Abhaya’s father


Kochi : The father of Sister Abhaya, who was found dead in a convent in Kottayam 17 years back, Friday wrote to President Pratibha Patil and the Chief Justice of India seeking a probe into the role of apex court judge Cyriac Joseph in allegedly interfering with the case.

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Abhaya’s father A. Thomas, in his letter, has urged that an inquiry be conducted or sanction given to him to prosecute Joseph “for violating clauses of the Indian Penal Code” with regard to the Abhaya murder case, his counsel A.X. Varghese told IANS.

“Joseph had in May 2008 visited the Bangalore laboratory where the narco test on three accused in the Abhaya murder case was conducted. He visited the lab when the case was going on in a court here and also when the Central Bureau of Investigation was probing the case. The day after the murder, he was the additional advocate general here and he visited the convent,” said Varghese.

“This clearly shows that the judge has been involved in the conspiracy to hush up the case, and this should be probed,” said Varghese.

The body of Sister Abhaya, a resident of Pius X Hostel, was found in the well of the Kottayam convent March 27, 1992.

The CBI had arrested three people on Nov 19, 2008, but they secured bail Jan 1, and the case is going on in the court.

The charge sheet filed in July has named Thomas M. Kottor, the Diocesan chancellor of the Catholic Church at Kottayam, Jose Putarika, a former professor at the Kottayam College where Abhaya studied, and Sister Seffi, a resident of the convent at the time of the murder, as the three accused.

The CBI had informed the Kerala High Court in August that then chief justice of Karnataka, and now Supreme Court judge, Cyriac Joseph, had inspected a CD of a narco-analysis test conducted in Bangalore on three accused.

CBI counsel S. Sreekumar told a division bench that assistant director with the Forensic Science Laboratory, Malini, during questioning said that Joseph had viewed the CD in May last year and vouched for its veracity.

The counsel made the observation after Thomas filed a contempt petition against the CBI for failing to investigate reports that the CD containing the narco-analysis tests was not original.

According to Varghese, Joseph was the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court and in that court no case pertaining to Abhaya’s murder was filed. So why should he go to the laboratory and examine this narco test CD, he asked.

The Kozhikode Bar Association in August decided to request the Supreme Court to conduct a detailed inquiry against Joseph at an extraordinary general body meeting of the association, with 180 members voting in favour of the resolution and six opposing it.