Five more questioned in Sankararaman murder case

Puducherry: Five more accused were questioned on Thursday in the Sankararaman murder case in which Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswathi and his junior Vijayendra Saraswathi are the prime accused.

They denied statements submitted by prosecution witnesses during examination earlier and said the "case was foisted against them".

While the first batch of four accused, including the two seers, were questioned on July 18, eight more accused were questioned on the next day.

Three accused were questioned yesterday.

All the 20 accused questioned so far had told the court that "false case" had been foisted against them.

Only 13 of the 24 accused were present in the court today and the absentees included the two seers, who have been charged under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of IPC.

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

The trial in the case was shifted to Puducherry from a court in Chengalpet in Kancheepuram on a directive from Supreme Court in 2005 following a petition by the two seers.

A total of 189 witnesses were examined since commencement of the trial in April 2009. As many as 81 witnesses turned hostile during examination.