In a blow to the first and third accused in Kerala's longest pending case involving the murder of Sr Abhaya way back in 1992, Kerala High Court has ordered that they face trial.
First accused Fr Thomas Kottoor and third accused Sister Stephy were asked by the court to face trial after their pleas to be acquitted were rejected.
Sr Abhaya was found dead in a well in St Pius X Convent in Kottayam on March 27, 1992. Investigation by police saw the case be treated as suicide and on public protest there was demand for crime branch investigation. Finally, on intervention by the High Court, it was proved to be a case of murder.
The court also approved the CBI court's verdict acquitting second accused Fr Jose Poothrukayil and cancelled the action taken against former crime branch DYSP KT Michael for destroying evidence.
Social worker Jomon Puthanpurakkal who was behind taking up the case had filed a plea against acquitting Fr Poothrukayil which was rejected.
The three accused has earlier moved the CBI special court in Thiruvananthapuram where the pleaa of first and third accused were rejected, forcing them to move this HC.