Kochi: In a shocking twist to the 17-year-old Sister Abhaya murder case, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) counsel told the Kerala High Court Monday that the then chief justice of Karnataka, and now a 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 by the investigative agency, had said that Joseph had viewed the CD in May last year and vouched for its veracity.
The counsel made the observation after the victim`s father A. Thomas filed a contempt petition against the CBI for failing to investigate reports that the CD containing the narco-analysis tests was not original.
The Kerala High Court had earlier directed the CBI to verify the reports that said the CD was tampered with.
Thomas` counsel AS Varghese, reacting to the CBI counsel`s verbal submission before the court, said that a Karnataka High Court judge inspecting the tapes of a murder case being investigated and put to trial in neighbouring Kerala was "very strange".
"He 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 CD?" Varghese told reporters.
The division bench asked the CBI to file a detailed reply regarding the statement made by Malini and posted the case for Aug 18.
The body of Sister Abhaya, a resident of Pius X Hostel, was found in the well of the Kottayam convent March 27, 1992.
The charge sheet filed last month names 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 when the incident took place.
The CBI had arrested the three accused Nov 19 last year but all of them secured bail Jan 1 this year.