Ravi Subramaniam, an approver in the Sankararaman murder case, was acquitted by the Sessions Court here on Wednesday. But he would be proceeded against for turning hostile.
Principal District Sessions Judge C.S. Murugan said Padma, wife of Sankararaman, and their son Anand Sharma failed to support the prosecution’s case. The Chief Investigating Officer did not investigate the final letter (the letter of motive) of August 30, 2004, alleged to have been sent by the victim.
Conspiracy had not been proved, as two of the accused Appu and Kadiravan were elsewhere at that time. The eyewitnesses, Ganesh, Duraikannu and Kuppusamy, who worked with Sankararaman at the time of the murder, turned hostile. Furthermore, Padma and her daughter Maitreyi, who identified the accused during the parade, failed to support the prosecution.
A total of 83 witnesses were examined. Seventeen went back on their statements they had given under Section 164 of the Cr.PC to substantiate the prosecution case. Further, the material objects seized from the accused were not proved, and the weapons used for the offence were not identified by witnesses. Payment of gratification to the fake accused was not proved.
The judge said there was neither substantive nor reliable evidence to corroborate the testimony of hostile witnesses, or the evidence of two witnesses who conducted the identification parade.
Decision on appeal
An official copy of the judgment will be submitted to the Puducherry government. After consultations, the government will decide on whether to appeal against the verdict or not, Special Public Prosecutor N. Devadass told The Hindu.