Legal Correspondent

Supreme Court posts it for further hearing on July 4

Petitioner seeks urgent hearing of the caseAssails judgment of the High CourtThe Bench asks senior counsel to file a rejoinder, if any

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Tamil Nadu Government to file its response to a special leave petition filed by Krishnaswamy alias Appu, key accused in the Sankararaman murder case, seeking bail, and listed the case for July 4.

A vacation Bench of Justice A.R. Lakshmanan and Justice Altamas Kabir heard brief arguments from K. Subramanian, senior counsel for the petitioner, and R. Venkataramani, senior counsel for the Tamil Nadu Government.

Mr. Subramanian submitted that while all the other accused had been released on bail, the petitioner was languishing in jail. The matter required urgent hearing in view of the petitioner's poor health.

Early hearing opposed

Mr. Venkataramani opposed early hearing. The SLP could be heard along with the main case on July 10. To a question from the Bench, whether the State had filed its counter, he said it would be filed during the course of the day. The Bench then asked Mr. Subramaniam to file a rejoinder, if any.

Assailing the High Court judgment, the petitioner in his SLP said while granting bail to the co-accused Sankaracharya of Kanchi Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, the apex court had held that there was no prima facie evidence to support the conspiracy theory. The observations of the High Court that the confessional statement of the co-accused would constitute prima facie evidence or offence, was in direct conflict with the apex court observations.

He said the High Court observations describing him as a person who "prepared" the plan; that the words were "translated into action" only by him by "masterly planning" were all findings recorded by the judge even before the commencement of the trial. They would affect the trial and influence the mind of the trial judge.