The Kerala High Court on Thursday granted bail to Catholic priest Thomas M. Kottur and co-convict Sister Steffi in the sensational sister Abhaya murder case.
The two have been asked to deposit a sum of Rs 5 lakh each and refrained from leaving the state without the court's permission.
Incidentally, in December 2020, a CBI Special Court had sentenced Kottur to two life terms besides a fine of Rs 5 lakhs after conviction under Section 302 of the IPC.
Sister Steffi was also convicted and handed down life imprisonment under the same Section in addition to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for tampering with evidence under Section 201.
Sister Abhaya was found dead in a well on March 27, 1992 at the Pious Tenth Convent in Kottayam.
Joemon Puthanpurakal, Convener of Sister Abhaya Action Council, who was present at the court slammed the CBI for its "laxity".
"It's strange and unfortunate that the CBI doesn't have a standing counsel and the counsel who appeared in this case for the CBI is one who does not understand Malayalam and did nothing. What happened today was the accused have only got bail without the court going into the merit of the case," said Puthanpurakal.
"We will now write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to the CBI director on how the CBI has been handling this case," said Puthanpurakal who has been following this case for the past three decades and has even written a book on this case.