Puducherry: One more witness on Tuesday turned hostile in a court here during cross examination in the Sankararaman murder case in which Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi is the prime accused.
When the trial resumed before Principal District and Sessions Judge T Ramswamy, a Chennai-based dealer in ceramic tiles, a prosecution witness, turned hostile.
So far 125 witnesses have been examined since the trial started last year and 65 of them have turned hostile.
Sankararaman, the Manager of the Varadarajaperumal temple in Kancheepuram, was murdered on the temple premises on September 3, 2004.
Kanchi seer Jayendra Sarawathi and his junior Vijayendra Saraswathi are the main accused and have been charged under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of Indian Penal code.
Of the 24 accused, only 11 were present during the hearing today. The absentees included the two seers.
The trial was shifted from a Tamil Nadu court to Puducherry in October 2005, following an order of the Supreme Court on a petition by Jayendra Saraswathi.
A total of four witnesses -- the tiles dealer, a director in a private real estate concern (Chennai), a Divisional Manager of BSNL at Kancheepuram, a Chief Manager of City Union Bank (Hyderabad) were examined today. The dealer turned hostile contradicting the statements he had given to police.
The Judge posted further hearing in the case to January 24.
Special Public prosecutor N Devadoss said later that 20 more witnesses would be examined at the next hearing.
The trial was scheduled for three days from today. But as the advocates in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry district and sub-courts have decided to go on strike in support of certain demands for two days from tomorrow the examination of witnesses slated during these two days have been scheduled for January 24 and 25.