Hearing in Sankararaman murder case adjourned to Nov 30

Hearing in Sankararaman murder case adjourned to Nov 30

The Principal District and Sessions Judge T Ramaswamy, before whom the case came up for hearing, adjourned the proceedings to Nov 30.

Special Public Prosecutor N Devadoss told PTI that the eight-week stay on the trial, given by the Madras High court on Aug 25 on a writ petition filed by an advocate, was still in force and hence the trial proceedings in the case in Puducherry court stood adjourned as the matter was pending before High Court.

The petitioner had sought a stay on the trial and a direction to the Registrar (Vigilance) to commence a statutory investigation by filing an FIR on his complaint regarding video tapes containing purported phone conversation allegedly to influence the judgement in the Sankararaman case. The petitioner had also sought a re-trial of the case.

The High Court had launched a "discrete" inquiry into the video tapes, and the court was told on Oct 13 that it had been completed.

Sankararaman, Manager of the Sri Varadarajaperumal temple in Kancheepuram, was murdered in September 2004. Police have charged the seer and his junior Vijayendra Saraswathi with involvement in the murder out of previous enmity.

The trial of the case was shifted to Puducherry from Chengalpet court as per a Supreme Court order in a petition filed before apex court by the Kanchi seer in Oct 2005.

Only five of the 24 accused were present in the court when the case came up before it today. The absentees included the two seers who have been charged under the IPC sections of 302 (murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

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