Sankararaman Murder: Judicial Officers Examined

Sankararaman Murder: Judicial Officers Examined
Six officials, including four judicial officers, from Kancheepuram were today examined and crossed examined in a court here during the trial in the Sankararaman murder case in which Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi and his junior are prime accused.

Sankararaman, Manager of Varadarajaperumal temple in Kancheepuram, was murdered on September 3, 2004 and Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi and 22 others had been charged with conspiracy and murder in the case.

When the trial resumed today before Principal District and Sessions Judge T.Ramaswamy, Special Public Prosecutor N Devadoss examined S.Rangarajan, then the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Chengalpattu, from where the case was shifted to Puducherry by Supreme Court on a petition by the seer.

Rangarajan had in 2005 granted tender of pardon to Ravi Subramanian to become an approver in the case. Subramanian, however, turned hostile during cross examination last year.

R.Rajendran, who was Judicial Magistrate-I earlier in Kancheepuram and now Special Judge in Jayamkondan, was the next examined today. He had conducted an identification parade of two of the accused by witnesses in the Central prison in Chennai in November, 2004.

Another judicial officer Mahalakshmi, now sub-judge in Maduranthakam, who had also conducted an identification parade in the Chennai prison in November 2004, was also examined.

The special public prosecutor also examined another Judicial Magistrate-II of Kancheeupram V.Damodaran, presently Judicial Magistrate-I in Puducherry, who had recorded the statements given by three of the accused in the case.

The then thasildar of Kancheepuram district Baskaran, now on deputation to Indian Oil Corporation as its Deputy Collector-Land Acquisition in Tiruvellorer, who had recorded the statements given by two of the accused, also deposed before the court during the hearing today.

A Sub-inspector of Police of Kanchipuram Gangan also deposed before the court on the post-mortem of Sankararaman.

Hearing in the case was adjourned to tomorrow when doctors and forensic experts would be examined.

Of the 24 accused only nine were present in the court today and the absentees included the two seers.

So far, 162 witnesses have been examined and cross examined since the commencement of the trial here some two years ago. A total of 75 prosecution witnesses have turned hostile.
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