Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sr. Abhaya case: Sex and the CBI, a detective story gone awry?

The investigation into the death of Sr. Abhaya, a young Catholic nun has been going on for 16 years. She was found dead in the well of her convent. A nun who was in the same convent as Abhaya and two priests were arrested recently as prime suspects for murdering Abhaya. (See Kerala: The arrest of two Catholic priests and a nun for murder)


Granting the accused bail, the Kerala High Court came out with scathing criticism of the way the latest team of sleuths (there had been a few earlier) of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is handling the case. The Court also expressed disapproval of the media role, and the accused nun being subjected to virginity test.


The virginity test in this case defies logic. It could have only two results – either the woman concerned had sexual intercourse or she was still inviolate. This is determined on the finding whether the hymen is still intact, though that need not lead to a precise conclusion.


The Catholic Church resorts to virginity test in instances were annulment of marriage is sought on the claim of non-consummation. But the examination is done discretely and total secrecy is maintained. In the Abhaya case the news was in the media in no time.


The CBI theory, as far as I can make out, is that Abhaya saw the accused in a compromising position and the threesome resorted to murder to silence her.


What was the CBI trying to prove with the virginity test? Assuming that the accused nun was found to be not a virgin in 2008, what bearing does it have to Abhaya’s death 16 years ago? She could have, if at all, lost her virginity before the alleged murder or some time after it.


If a lady is proved to be a virgin according to the test, does it confirm that she has not indulged in sexual activities with the opposite gender? Certainly not. What then was the relevance of the virginity test in the Abhaya case?


Then there was the unfortunate publicity to the event. Belonging to a religious order neither invests any one with special rights nor take away any existing rights. Every accused has to be treated decently and humanely.


Yesterday the doctor who conducted the post mortem on Abhaya’s body gave a secret statement before the concerned Magistrate that Abhaya drowned in her convent’s well and the death could amount to manslaughter. I do not know whether a doctor is legally competent to make such an observation. If this claim has deviated from his original report, he would have a tough time to survive cross examination.


What is incredible however is that the ‘secret’ deposition was all over the media within hours.


What is the CBI up to? Are they on the right track or messing up the investigation? The High Court has done well to instruct the CBI to bring the current investigation team under the direct supervision of an experienced and competent senior officer.


The CBI’s reaction? Reportedly the agency is contemplating appeal to the Supreme Court.


Ends.


Also see:

Sr. Abhaya case: Justice Vs. Justice?



8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Church used all its money power and influence upto the level of PM of the country to cover up murder of Sr.Abhaya for the last 16 years.Kerala High court judge Basant has rejected bail application of those criminals.Then Church managed to find a judge who against all proven facts did this amazing judgement.Church leaders does not have any belief in God or morality.Judge Hema has lowered the value of the Court by this judgement even though it was evident from the beginning of argument that she is bought over by the church.You consider only the judgement of this Judge Hema as valid and judgement of all other judges may be convineantly treated as non existent?
Nun in question was found to do an operation to conceal facts about her sexual orgies.That came out in the test
Doctor who did postmartom came out in the open and said that it was a murder and he was not allowed to inspect the site of death earlier by the local police to conceal facts.Inspite of the devilish character of church authorities murder of an innocent 16 year old has come out in the open.No church leader has fealt any pain on the death of Sr.Abhaya.They are feeling pain only for these killers

Abraham Tharakan said...

Anonymous, harsh words indeed. Let us calmly analyze the points raised by you.

Justice Hema’s judgment is the currently relevant one. That is why I dealt with it and it is reportedly being challenged by the CBI.

It is totally unnecessary to make statements that may amount to contempt of court.

It appears to be a wild claim that successive Indian Prime Ministers during the last 16 years were influenced by the Church to cover up the Abhaya case. If the Church could influence PMs and High Court Judges in a criminal case, why couldn’t it do the same with the doctor who conducted the post mortem?

This is the first time I am hearing that Sr. Abhaya was only 16 years old when she died/was killed. Perhaps it would be the right step if you take it up with the appropriate authorities because inducting a girl below the age of consent into a religious order, I think, is not legally correct.

Since you seem to have so much inside knowledge about the alleged crime, it would help justice if you reveal it all to the police, or CBI, or the Magistrate. That is a citizen’s duty.

Usually, a quiet and committed investigation catches the thief. Too much fanfare and visibility could help the culprits to escape. Much of the publicity attached to this case could have been, in my opinion, avoided.

Let us all hope that justice will prevail.

Anonymous said...

Initial investigation was manipulated.Post martom report was manipulated.Chemical analysis report was manipulated.Narco analysis CD was manipulated.Dy.S.P of CBI had to resign from the job due to pressure from higher ups to discard the murder as suicide.Mr.Varghese Thomas Former Dy.Sp of CBI who was forced to resign only made it public about intereference From PM Narasimha Rao.
Sr.Abhaya was studying for Pred egree First year when she was killed.Without bothering for any investigation report Church leaders including KCBC and CBCI says that the accused are innocent.If every religious head in this country take up the right to decide who is innocent or guilty why should we have courts?
CBI has in writing asked that a biased Judge Hema should not hear the case.In normal circumstances any Judge would have avoided hearing the case as a party in writing has expressed doubts on unbiased hearing of the case.Judge Hema refused to withdraw from the case.
Do you think all these manipulations over a period of 16 years was done by dead Sr.Abhaya?
Church has lost all its credibility by their actions in this case

Abraham Tharakan said...

Anonymous, you seem to be repeating the same things. I am closing this discussion.

Skylark said...

I am horrified to read about the attrocities of an Indian Investigating agency on its on subjects. These fraud investigators should be hanged in public as a detterent to other similar officers. Please read the full text of Justice Hema’s judgment from below link and make constructive comments. Very reasonable judgment. If any lacuna or illogic,point out. Why are these fraud CBI left scot free to persecute other fellow citizens ? It is a case for human rights commission to take up. Till date CBI was making us believe lies and lies repeatedly.Their lies include Hymen rstoration therapy, coaching from criminologist.. and so on. This is not a case of religion, but humanity. If CBI picks any of you one day and put you behind bars on the basis of false stories, how do you react ?

http://judis.nic.in/kerala/qrydisp.asp?tfnm=85452

plackattu said...

How does one evaluate the role media is playing in this issue? Most of the media are behaving responsibl except for some who seems to have scores to settle. They are spitting venom into the social polity threatening the judges, and calling names - for that matter any one who shows boldness to say any thing they do not like-- so that they wouldn't dare to speak lest they would defame your character and self respect. They would not allow the law to have its own course. It is a sham on the whole media fraternity and not acceptable in a civilised society. There are specific areas of action for judiciary and the media and Judiciary should not be kept at gun point by the media for whatsoever reasons. After all each one of us wants the truth to come out and the guilty to be punished. But having read Hema's observations on the case diary, one cannot be blamed if CBI has not done their home work properly. How come their secret interrogations, proofs, leads and raids go public instantaneously? They are leaving numerous holes in their investigation network so that the case becomes weaker and weaker with the perennial inconsistency right from the start. Justice Hema's observations should have been with these discrepancies in view.

Anonymous said...

How does one evaluate the role media is playing in this issue? Most of the media are behaving responsibl except for some who seems to have scores to settle. They are spitting venom into the social polity threatening the judges, and calling names - for that matter any one who shows boldness to say any thing they do not like-- so that they wouldn't dare to speak lest they would defame your character and self respect. They would not allow the law to have its own course. It is a sham on the whole media fraternity and not acceptable in a civilised society. There are specific areas of action for judiciary and the media and Judiciary should not be kept at gun point by the media for whatsoever reasons. After all each one of us wants the truth to come out and the guilty to be punished. But having read Hema's observations on the case diary, one cannot be blamed if CBI has not done their home work properly. How come their secret interrogations, proofs, leads and raids go public instantaneously? They are leaving numerous holes in their investigation network so that the case becomes weaker and weaker with the perennial inconsistency right from the start. Justice Hema's observations should have been with these discrepancies in view.

CYKAN said...

Why create all havocs? Investigating teams have all right to investigate into the pros and probs of any case because every investigation begins with auumptions and persumptions and different agencies have different modus operndi which also differ from person to person so let us not blame the investigating team nor the judiciary which may also have different vies based on individual persumptioons. let the case go on . Why all these havoc. if the accused are innocent let it be proved in the final stages of the investigation and also in court( they can defend and prove innocent). Leave the case to the investigating agency and courts to decide as in all other cases instead of publicising , religoinising and politicalisng this. This is unfair. Over enthusiasm and interest can only put doubts in the mind of public who now really want the truth to be exposed and know who the real culprits are. To recall here in one case where a clergy was involved Mar mathew kavukatt made it clear let the case go on if guilty let the clergy be punished otherwise let him prove innocent. this was a decent move and statement and the clergy was at last proven innocent . let it be the case in this also rather than creating all havocs . Who are people to gain in this havocs??. the real culprits and the politicians . its shameful