Sankararaman Murder Case: HC Declines to Stay Trial

Chennai
Sankararaman Murder Case: HC Declines to Stay Trial
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
The Madras High Court today dismissed a petition by a former police Officer seeking a stay in trial of the Sankararaman murder case, in which Kanchi Seer Jayendra Saraswathi and his junior Vijendra Saraswathi are main accused

S P Sakthivel, who was also Chief Investigating Officer in the case submitted that the prosecution had never sought his assistance after his retirement on March 31 2006. He also noted that many witnesses were treated as hostile.

He contended that unless trial in Puducherry was stayed, his efforts to nab the accused would go in vain and the truth would never come come out.

He said action should have been taken against approver Ravi Subramaniam under Section 308 of CrPc (Trial of person not complying with conditions of pardon) for turning hostile and on basis of his confessional statement under Sec164 of Cr.P.C. "That apart, the Government should have proceeded against him for giving false evidence," he said.

Sakthivel sought a direction to the Home Secretary,ADGP of CB-CID to take appropriate steps against the approver and to re-examine hostile witnesses and mark their confessional statements before examining him as a witness in his capacity as Investigation officer.

When the matter came up before Justice P Jyothimani,Public Pleader P Kumaresan said necessary steps were taken at the right time against the approver and that this court could not exercise jurisdiction in the sessions court trial as it would amount to interfering with administration of justice.

Dismissing the petition, Justice P.Jyothimani said once investigation is completed and trial is in progress, the scope of the court here to interfere is limited. The parties in question would be entitled to question the validity of the judgement only after it is delivered, he said.

Since the petitioner is the Investigation officer,he should be entitled to get a copy of documents and must be permitted to peruse the same before he is asked to give evidence.

Earlier a local court in Puducherry adjourned to April 5, hearing in the case following a request by Sakthivel, seeking time to peruse documents relating to the case.

Only eight of the 24 accused were present in court and the absentees included the two Seers.

The trial was shifted from Chengalpattu court in Tamil Nadu to Puducherry following a Supreme Court order in 2005 on a petition by Jayendra Sarawathi.

Sankararaman, manager of Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram, was allegedly murdered in the premises of the temple on September 3, 2004.
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