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No Grounds for Challenging Jayendra Saraswathi Acquittal: AG

New Delhi

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi is understood to have asked Puducherry government not to appeal against the acquittal of the two Sankaracharyas of Kanchi Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi in the Sankararaman murder case.

Rohatgi is understood to have opined that it is not a fit case to file an appeal in the Madras High Court against the trial court order as the appeal would not only be time-barred but there would be no merit in it in view of the sound reasoning given by the trial court.

Rohatgi has communicated his opinion to the Union Home Ministry saying since the appeal was not filed within the mandatory 90 days of the trial court verdict, there is little grounds left now to move the High Court.

The trial court verdict in the case was pronounced on November 23, 2013 acquitting the two seers along with the others.

The case was transferred from Tamil Nadu to Puducherry on the direction of the Supreme Court.

Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi were acquitted along with 21 other accused in the sensational murder of temple manager Sankararaman in a case that saw nearly half of the 189 witnesses, including the family of the victim and an approver, turning hostile.

Sankararaman, who was murdered on September 3, 2004, with sharp-edged weapons, had levelled charges of financial misappropriation against the two seers and over the way they managed the affairs of the Mutt.

Initially, the Puducherry government was not inclined to file an appeal in the High Court within the 90-day time limit and hence the appeal was not filed. Subsequently former Lt. Governor Virender Kataria gave sanction to Puducherry government for filing the appeal against the acquittal before the High Court.

Kataria, who resigned as Governor, had said he was was not properly briefed about the case.

Then the UT government sought the Attorney General’s opinion about the possibility of an appeal.

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PLACES: Puducherry
SECTION: National
OUTLOOK 23 August, 2014
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