The verdict of the CBI Court had come more than 28 years after Sister Abhaya was found murdered at a convent in Kottayam district of Kerala.
Her body was found inside the well of the convent on March 27,1992. The case itself saw many twists and turns before it was eventually tried in court.
In 1993, the State police filed a closure report saying it was a case of suicide. The matter was then handed over to CBI after an activist, Jomon Puthenpurackal took it to court.
However, in 1996, the CBI filed a report stating it could not conclude whether it was a homicide or suicide. The Court, however, rejected the same and ordered re-investigation.
A year later, CBI concluded that the case was indeed a homicide but there was no evidence to try the case.
This was again rejected by the court and a third round of CBI probe began.
Ten years later, the first arrests are made in the case when Father Thomas Kottoor, Father Jose Poothrukayil, and Sister Sephy were arrested and charged for murder in 2008.
They were later granted bail by the Kerala High Court in 2009 and Poothrukayil was discharged.
Pursuant to an order of the Kerala High Court deriding the delay and directing that the matter be heard on a day-to-day basis, the CBI court delivered the verdict.
“The evidence on record is more than sufficient to hold that the unbroken catena of circumstances is so complete that it cumulatively points towards the guilt of the accused, leading to the conclusion which is inconsistent with the innocence of the accused,” the CBI court’s judgment read.