Special Correspondent

Kochi: The Kerala High Court, on Monday, directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to explain the reasons for not entrusting the investigation into the Sister Abhaya case to a senior officer.

Justice R. Basant directed the designated investigation officer to appear before the court on Tuesday.

The court gave these directions when CBI counsel M.V.S. Namboodiri submitted a report stating that the investigation had been handed over to the agency’s Kerala unit as directed by the court. The court had earlier directed it to entrust the investigation to the Kerala unit as it was dissatisfied with the investigation by the Delhi unit.

The court directed the CBI to report whether the investigation team had been deputed exclusively for the investigation of the Abhaya case or it was assigned other duties as well.

Credentials

When the case was taken up for hearing, CBI counsel submitted that the Kochi unit had taken over the investigation and Nandakumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police, was the investigation officer. Asked about his credentials, counsel submitted that the investigation officer was one among those who had investigated the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

The body of Abhaya, a 21-year-old nun at the Pious X convent hostel, was found in a well on the convent premises in March 1992. The CBI had concluded that it was a murder case. It had filed a report saying that the investigation did not indicate the involvement of any person in the death and sought to close the case as untraced. However, the magistrate court rejected the petition and directed the CBI to continue investigations.

Monitoring

The High Court, while ordering the CBI to hand over the investigation to the Kerala unit, had directed the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Ernakulam, to monitor the investigation. The High Court had granted the CBI 10 days time to hand over the investigation to the Kerala unit when a report filed by the magistrate court came up before it.

The report had said that the CBI had failed to hand over the investigation.

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