All accused in Sankararaman case to be questioned

A local court fixed July 18 as the day when all the 24 accused in the Sankararaman murder case would be questioned.

Puducherry: After completion of examination
and cross examination of all the prosecution witnesses in the
Sankararaman murder case in which Kanchi Sankaracharya
Jayendra Saraswathi and his junior Vijayendra Saraswathi are
the prime accused, a local court on Monday fixed July 18 as the
day when all the 24 accused in the case would be questioned.

The order was passed by the Principal and District sessions
Judge T Ramaswamy, who said all the accused would be
questioned on July 18 as per provisions of section 313 CrPc
(power to examine the accused). Special Public Prosecutor
N Devadoss had earlier said that examination and cross
examination of prosecution witnesses was now over.

Sankararaman, manager in the Varadarajaperumal temple in
Kancheepuram was allegedly murdered on the premises of the
temple on September 3, 2004. The Sankaracharya and his deputy
Vijayendra Saraswathi have been charged with conspiracy in
eliminating Sankararaman out of personal enmity.

So far 189 witnesses have been examined since commencement
of the trial here about in April 2009, of whom 81 have turned

Among those who were examined and crossed examined in the
hearing were the wife and children of Sankararaman and the
Chief Investigation Officer SP Sakthivelu (who had since

The trial was shifted from Chengalpattu to Puducherry
court following an order of the Supreme Court given on a writ
petition filed before the apex court by the Kanchi seer
Jayendra Saraswathi in October 2005. Eighty one of the 189
witnesses examined totally in the case had turned hostile.

Only five of the 24 witnesses were present when the hearing
resumed today and the absentees included the two seers.


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