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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Retired SC judge Cyriac Joseph attempted to derail trial in the Sister Abhaya case reveals whistleblower

Justice Cyriac Joseph, a retired judge of the Supreme Court (SC) had tried to scuttle the Sister Abhaya murder case besides playing an important role in transferring chief judicial magistrate (CJM) VT Raghunath who wanted to visit the convent where the young nun was found dead in a well. This sensational revelation was made by the key witness in the case whistleblower Jomon Puthenpurackal reports SwarajyaMag.

According to Jomon, the retired judge had been attempting to scuttle the case ever since he was the Additional Advocate General of Kerala since the prime accused Kottoor happens to be his relative. Joseph became the Kerala High Court (HC) judge in 1994. However, his role in scuttling the Abhaya case came into scrutiny when he became the Karnataka HC Chief Justice in 2008.

The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) that arrested Kottoor and Sephy took the two accused to Bengaluru for analysis. It has come to light that the retired judge had been seen at the Bengaluru Narco Analysis lab where the outcomes of the analysis conducted on both the accused were available.

The CBI made a submission in the Kerala HC complaining about Joseph, who had already been promoted as the SC judge by then, accessing the narco analysis tapes. The then CJI and fellow Keralite KG Balakrishnan headed bench declared the narco results as null and void.

Joseph’s interference in the case, however, did not stop here and he is said to have played a major role in the transfer of CJM VT Raghunath who had wanted to visit the site where Sister Abhaya’s body had been discovered.

These revelations by Jomon against Joseph assumes significance considering that the family of the 18-year-old nun who was murdered not only had to wait for 28 long years but also had to put up with the fact that more than 100 witnesses had turned hostile under the pressure exerted by the church. The retired judge’s interference only indicates the kind of clout the Church wields.

In light of this revelation, it is hardly surprising that the case dragged on for such a long time. There is no doubt that judge Joseph had tried his best to save the accused. Joseph’s involvement comes in the background of a police officer KT Michael of the Kerala police special branch who had been charged with the destruction of evidence but went scot-free due to lack of evidence.

No wonder the case had to be re-investigated not once or twice but three times. This also proves the point that we have been making regarding the Church uses every trick up its sleeve from persuasion to coercion to outright threat and even murder to wriggle itself out of legal tangles. In Bharat, they additionally have the support of secular politicians and parties who bend over backward to please them in the name of minority rights in addition to those in the judiciary and administrative setup.

It is yet to be seen if any action would be initiated against the retired judge considering the fact that the whistle-blower has made some very serious charges.

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