A special CBI court in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday removed Fr. Jose Poothrukayil from the list of accused in the case of death of Sister Abhaya in mysterious circumstances at a convent in Kottayam in 1992.
CBI Special Judge J. Nazar decreed that he found no clear evidence against the priest in the suspected homicidal drowning case.
The judge, however, ordered the other two accused, Fr. Thomas Kottoor and Sister Stephy, to face trial.
The CBI had told the court that though there were no eyewitnesses to the crime, which took place on the night of March 27, 1992, there was enough evidence to prosecute the accused.
The CBI’s case was that Sister Stephy hit Abhaya three times on the head with the blunt side of an axe when the 19-year-old entered the convent’s kitchen to drink water and found the suspects in “objectionable circumstances.”
The CBI deposed that the accused threw Abhaya’s body into the convent’s well to make it appear that it is a case of suicide or an accident. It concluded that the inquest report filed by the State police was ‘false and forged.’
The CBI said forensic analysis had proved that Abhaya’s was a classic case of homicidal drowning. It had filed three reports in the case, the first one stating that Abhaya committed suicide. In the second one, it indicated that it could not establish beyond doubt whether it was a suicide or a murder. In the last report filed in in 2008, it stated that the nun was killed. It subsequently identified and arrested her alleged killers.