Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: A Pondicherry Sessions Court order, upholding the validity of a Tamil Nadu Government order appointing a Special Public Prosecutor and additional prosecutors for the Sankararaman murder trial in Pondicherry, has been challenged in the Madras High Court. The Principal Sessions and District Judge, Pondicherry passed the impugned order on January 25.

In his present revision petition, Kanchi Acharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi contended that the territorial administration alone was empowered to appoint prosecutors and that the Government of Tamil Nadu was not legally competent to make such appointments.

He said it was not open to the Tamil Nadu Government to relax the conditions in respect of the minimum Bar experience for two advocates and appoint them Additional Special Public Prosecutors. Further, the trial court has not dealt with the elaborate and important legal submissions advanced on behalf of the petitioner.

"The Union Territory of Pondicherry has not surrendered its sovereignty to Tamil Nadu nor the State of Tamil Nadu can exercise jurisdiction or authority over Pondicherry. Therefore, the appointment or permission to continue as Special Public Prosecutor or Additional Special Public Prosecutors is without jurisdiction, authority and in gross violation of the provisions of the CrPC," the Acharya said.

He submitted that the trial court's reasoning that it could not decide the validity of government orders was wholly unsustainable. Besides seeking to set aside the January 25 order, the petitioner prayed for a stay on all further proceedings of the case before the Sessions court. In a separate petition, he sought an order dispensing with his personal appearance in the court.