THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The prosecution’s efforts to paint the current inquest report of Sister Abhaya’s death as-fabricated has got a shot in the arm as John Scaria, whom the local police had shown as a witness in its inquest report, told the CBI court his signature was forged in the report. John said he worked as an aluminium fabrication worker and came to Kottayam for work when the Abhaya episode happened.
While he was passing by Pius X Convent, there was a crowd inside and seeing it he also joined them. He saw the body of Sr Abhaya, which was retrieved from the well. John said the police told him to sign on a paper as a witness and he obliged. When the prosecution showed the inquest report, John identified his signature as forged. The samples of John’s original signature were handed over to the court by the prosecution.
John told the court that the police did not read out to him the contents of the paper. The prosecution’s contention was that John had signed the original report which was destroyed by the local police. Later, his signature was forged in the second report.CBI charge is that the original inquest report hinted that Abhaya was murdered. All these details were later removed when the new report was drafted in a bid to protect the accused.
Former head constable A A Thomas had earlier told the court that the original inquest report was destroyed. “ASI Augustine had asked another cop to destroy the original report and replace it with a new one,” he had said. John’s statement gave the prosecution one more strong piece of evidence to validate their argument. Hinging on John’s educational qualification, the defence counsel during the cross-examination tried to prove his statement was false.