Court hauls up lab in Abhaya murder case

The 19-year-old case took a fresh turn on Tuesday with the court observing that corrections were made at eight places in the worksheet showing the examination of vaginal swabs of the nun. It shows the addition of the word “not” to the portion of the report which concluded “semen detected”.

The court’s revelations suggest the nun may have been raped before being strangled to death and thrown into a well of the St Pius Convent in Kottayam where she was staying.

Though counsel for former CCE R Geetha and analyst D Chitra pleaded protection for government employees discharging their duties, saying they did not commit the errors wilfully, the court did not accept it. In fact, CJM Cherian Varghese pointed out that the mandatory signatures and reasons for effecting the corrections in the worksheet were absent at these places.

The 21-year-old nun’s mysterious death in 1992 was first written off by the Kerala police as suicide. Though the CBI went along with this finding at first, it later concluded that it was a murder.

In July 2009, the CBI finally filed a chargesheet in the case arraigning two priests and a nun on charges of murdering the nun. A former police assistant sub-inspector, who committed suicide later, was included as the fourth accused for destroying evidence.

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