In a fresh development in the controversial Sister Abhaya death case, a CBI court on Monday added a former crime branch SP, KT Michael, in the list of accused for allegedly destroying key evidence in the case. KT Michael was in charge of the preliminary investigation in the death of Sister Abhaya, and had closed the case saying sister Abhaya had committed suicide in 1992.
The court was considering a plea filed by Jomon Puthanpurackel, a social activist, asking for an investigation into the alleged involvement of crime branch officials in destroying evidence in the case before it was handed over to CBI.
The CBI court will summon KT Michael on February 1.
Sister Abhaya, a Knanaya Catholic nun, was found dead on March 27, 1992 in the Pius Tenth Convent in Kottayam. Her body was found in a well in the convent. The local police and crime branch closed the case back then, calling it a suicide.
But a year later, in 1993, the case was re-opened and taken up by the CBI, after the crime branch investigation was called a sham, and the police were accused of trying to aide the killers of Sister Abhaya.
The investigation was led by the then DySp Varghese P Thomas. It was Varghese who declared Abhaya case as a murder case, before he resigned on December 31, 2003.
In 2008, 16 years after Abhayaâ€™s death, CBI made three arrests as part of the investigation. Two priests (Father Thomas Kottoor and Father Jose Poothrikkayil) and a nun (Sister Sephy) were arrested, but released on bail a few months later. In 2009, CBI submitted the charge sheet in the case. The CBI during its investigation claimed of strong evidence available against the two priests and the nun belonging to the Knanaya community of the Roman Catholic Congregation.
CBI reports submitted to the special court in Thiruvananthapuram stated that according to a witness, Prof Thressyamma, the two priests had illicit relations with the nun. CBI had also claimed in its reports that the two priests and the nun had a physical relationship, and Sister Abhaya found them in a compromising position inside the Hostel and this was the motive of the murder.