Updated: January 20, 2021 10:11 AM GMT
Sister Abhaya's body was found in a well at a Kerala convent in March 1992.
Kerala High Court has accepted a Catholic priest's appeal against a special court convicting him of the murder of a Catholic nun 28 years ago.The top court in the southern Indian state accepted the appeal of Father Thomas Kottoor on Jan. 19 and served a notice seeking the response of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the federal agency that investigated the case. A special CBI court on Dec. 23 sentenced Father Kottoor and Sister Sephy to life imprisonment after convicting them of the murder of 19-year-old Sister Abhaya and dumping her body in a convent well in 1992. The conviction document said the priest and nun committed the crime to cover up their sex act, which the younger nun accidentally saw while collecting drinking water on the morning of March 27, 1992. Sister Abhaya's body was found in the well of St. Pius Convent in Kottayam district that morning. The priest and nun were also found guilty of destroying evidence and conspiracy, among other charges. However, Sister Sephy has not yet appealed against her conviction.Father Kottoor's appeal said the special court's judgment was "improper and incorrect" as it relied on evidence given by three unreliable witnesses and was based on an unfounded story.The trial court did not examine the evidence he had submitted that proved his innocence.The judgment document was "a beautifully drawn screenplay based on fiction," and if it were allowed to be sustained, it would be "a travesty of justice," the priest's appeal reportedly said.