Seer’s plea for prosecutor from Puducherry accepted

July 22nd, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday acceded to Hindu seer from Kancheepuram Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati’s plea to let the Puducherry government appoint a public prosecutor to hold the trial against him for allegedly murdering a temple manager in 2004. Acceding to the Shankaracharya’s plea, a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan asked the Puducherry government to appoint the public prosecutor for prosecuting the pontiff as the trial had been shifted earlier from Tamil Nadu to Puducherry on an apex court’s order.

The ruling came on a lawsuit by Jayendra Saraswati challenging the appointment of a public prosecutor by the Tamil Nadu government for holding the trial against him in the murder case at Puducherry.

The spiritual guru had contended that as the trial in the case was transferred to Puducherry, the Tamil Nadu Government has no authority to appoint its public prosecutor.

He had also sought the apex court ruling on the question as to which state should be vested with the power of appeal against the order of the trial court.

The Tamil Nadu government had appointed the public prosecutor in the case maintaining that Section 24 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides exclusive right to a state for appointing its own public prosecutor and hence Shankaracharya’s plea should be dismissed.

The Shankaracharya was arrested Nov 14, 2004 by the Tamil Nadu police in Andhra Pradesh’s Mahboobnagar district for allegedly murdering A. Sankararaman, manager of Kancheepuram’s Sri Vardaraja Perumal Temple, Sept 3, 2004.

Following a petition filed by Jayendra Saraswati, the Supreme Court Oct 26, 2005 had shifted the trial against the seer from the Principal Sessions Court, Chengalpattu in Tamil Nadu, to the District and Sessions Court, Puducherry.

The apex court May 2, 2006 had also suspended the trial before the sessions court, Puducherry after the seer opposed the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to appoint its own public prosecutor for the trial.

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