HC orders police protection for Sankararaman's wid



Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered the Tamil Nadu Police to provide protection to Sankararaman widow, a witness in her husband's murder case in which Kanchi Seer Jayendra Saraswathi is the prime accused.

"The respondents (Kancheepuram SP and Crime Branch-CID DSP) shall ensure the safety of the petitioner (S Padma) when she appears before the trial court," Justice S Nagamuthu said, disposing of petitions filed by her seeking police protection for her and family members.

Padma had sought police protection on the ground that she and her family members had been allegedly threatened when they had come to depose in the case on August 6, 2009.

The judge stated the woman had made "a lot of allegations touching upon the merits of the case" which had been denied by the DSP CB-CID and "this court cannot go into the correctness or otherwise of these allegations". He said it was for the trial Judge to dispose of Padma's plea for police protection and re-hearing depositions after affording sufficient opportunity to both parties.

Pointing out that a perusal of petitions filed by Padma before the trial court would show that similar prayers had been made, the Judge said the question of police protection would be decided by the Puducherry Principal Sessions Judge, who is hearing the case.

Sankarararman, manager in the Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram, was murdered in its premises on September 3, 2004.

PTI