4 Oct 2021 11:01 AM GMT
The State informed the Kerala High Court on Monday that the convicts in the Sister Abhaya murder case, namely Fr. Thomas Kottur and Sister Sefi, have returned to jail after parole.The Division Bench was hearing a plea filed by a Human Rights Activist challenging the order releasing the convicts on parole, alleging that such a move was illegal. The Court had sought the response of the...
The State informed the Kerala High Court on Monday that the convicts in the Sister Abhaya murder case, namely Fr. Thomas Kottur and Sister Sefi, have returned to jail after parole.
The Division Bench was hearing a plea filed by a Human Rights Activist challenging the order releasing the convicts on parole, alleging that such a move was illegal.
The Court had sought the response of the concerned authorities in the matter. During the hearing, it was also pointed out by the State that all persons belonging to the age bracket of the convicts were released on parole.
The Court had further earlier asked the State to file a statement while hearing the petition seeking immediate withdrawal of parole granted to the convicts.
The matter will be taken up tomorrow for further consideration.
Sister Abhaya was a 21-year-old Catholic nun, and an inmate of St. Pius Xth Convent Hostel, Kottayam pursuing her degree from the BCM College. Her body was found in a well on 28th March 1992 with a head injury at the rear of her head.
Father Thomas Kottoor and Sister Sephy were found guilty of the murder after 28 years of investigation. Thereby, the Court convicted the accused in 2020 based on seventeen categoric circumstances. Accordingly, they were sentenced to life imprisonment.
After a prolonged investigation, the Special Court had found Father Thomas Kottoor and Sister Sephy guilty of murder and sentenced both the accused to life imprisonment among other penalties by an order dated 23rd December 2020.
However, shortly after, on 11th and 12th May 2021 respectively, the said accused were released on parole by the Superintendents concerned in furtherance of the orders issued by the Director-General of Prisons & Correctional Services.
When the same was questioned, the petitioner was allegedly informed that the said order was issued upon the recommendations of the High-Powered Committee and various Government Orders issued based on the directions laid by the Supreme Court in In Re: Contagion of Covid 19 Virus In Prisons.
The petitioner submitted that the aforementioned directions only authorized the High-Power Committee to set the criterion for release of prisoners on parole, depending upon the nature of the offence, the period of sentence, and severity of the offence, or other relevant factors.
Case Title: Jomon Puthenpurackal vs. State of Kerala & Ors.