Abhaya murder case: petition challenges grant of parole to Father Kottoor, Sister Sephy

High Court Bench directs State prosecutor to file a statement

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday admitted a petition challenging the grant of parole to Father Thomas Kottoor and Sister Sephy, convicts in the Sister Abhaya murder case.

When the petition filed by Jomon Puthenpurackal came up for hearing, the Bench comprising Justice Vinod Chandran and Justice Ziyad Rahman A.A. directed the State prosecutor to file a statement in response to the petition.

The petitioner pointed out that the convicts were granted parole by the superintendents of the prisons where they were undergoing life imprisonment. The high power committee to look into the grant of parole had clarified that it had not authorised the prison superintendents to release the convicts on parole. In fact, parole could not be granted to a convict undergoing imprisonment for life. The high power committee had also excluded convicts sentenced with imprisonment for over 10 years from being considered for parole. Therefore, the grant of parole to the two convicts was against the principle of natural justice and violative of the directions laid by the Supreme Court and the norms laid down by the high power committee, stated the petitioner.

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