Sister Sephy and Father Kottoor receive Conditional Bail from the Kerala High Court

Shivani Thakur

Published on: June 24, 2022 at 15:53 IST

 The Kerala High Court granted the requests made by Sister Sephy and Father Thomas Kottoor, who were sentenced to life in prison for the spectacular Sister Abhaya murder case, to have their sentences suspended.

The convicts were subsequently granted bail with the requirement to sign bonds for Rs. 5 lakh each and two financially sound sureties by a division Bench of Justices K. Vinod Chandran and C. Jayachandran. The time that they are so released was supposed to be omitted from the computation of their prison term under Section 389(4) CrPC if their conviction and sentence were upheld or even amended.

Sister Sephy’s senior attorney P Vijayabhanu argued that she was out on bond during the course of the investigation and trial and has been sentenced to life in prison as of December 22, 2020. It was argued that she hadn’t abused the freedom the court had granted her, and there was no claim that she had attempted to tamper with the evidence or sway the witnesses while she was free on bond.

Senior Advocate B Raman Pillai appeared for Father Kottoor and submitted that the trial court sentenced him to life imprisonment despite there being no evidence against him. It was alleged that the findings of guilt entered by the trial court were totally against the charges framed against him and the other accused.

CBI maintained that, especially at this point, there was no basis to even prima facie conclude that the conviction was founded on a lack of evidence.

In accordance with Section 302 of the IPC, the offenders were also each fined Rs. 5 lakh. Under Section 449 of the Indian Penal Code, Kottoor was also given a second life term and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh.

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