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Sankararaman murder case: charges framed against 24 accused

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IN COURT: Kanchi Sankaracharyas Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi coming out from the court complex in Pondicherry on Tuesday. Photo: T. Singaravelou
IN COURT: Kanchi Sankaracharyas Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi coming out from the court complex in Pondicherry on Tuesday. Photo: T. Singaravelou

Staff Reporter

Jayendra Saraswathi, Vijayendra Saraswathi are prime accused

PONDICHERRY: The Principal Sessions Court here on Tuesday framed charges against all the 24 accused in the Kanchi Sankararaman murder case. Kanchi Acharyas Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi are named prime accused in the case.

A total of 14 charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including 120 (B) (conspiracy), 302 (murder), 201 (giving false evidence to screen offender) and 448 and 449 (criminal trespass) were read out to the accused.

The court asked them whether they were guilty, and all of them pleaded not guilty.

Jayendra Saraswathi said the police had falsely implicated him in the case and that he was in no way connected with it. Vijayendra Saraswathi said it was a false case and that he was innocent.

Earlier, when the case came up for hearing, defense counsel K. S. Dinakaran sought adjournment of the framing of charges since a Special Leave Petition regarding continuance of the special public prosecutor appointed by the Tamil Nadu Government was pending before the Supreme Court.

"There is nothing wrong in waiting because the very locus standi of the prosecution is being questioned," he said.

Special Public Prosecutor, Special Investigating Team, T. Balasundaram said it was the duty of the court to frame charges at this stage and "if at all they want an adjournment, the court could adjourn it for witness examination."

Different issues

After hearing both sides, judge M. Chinnapandi said both the issues were different and that framing of charges was a matter between the court and the accused.

He also said that he would not fix the date for commencing trail and instead posted the matter for hearing to April 17.

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