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HC seeks govt view on house arrest for seer
November 12, 2004 18:52 IST
Last Updated: November 12, 2004 21:55 IST
The Madras High Court on Friday directed the public prosecutor to find out from the Tamil Nadu government if it had any objection to keeping Kanchi mutt seer Jayendra Saraswathi, arrested and remanded in judicial custody in a murder case, under house arrest instead of in prison.
The direction was given by Justice R Balasubramaniam while hearing a bail application filed on behalf of the pontiff by senior advocate I Subramaniam. The Judge directed public prosecutor Duraisamy to inform the court the government's stand by 1500 IST on Friday and file his counter. The judge then posted the bail application for hearing at 1100 IST on Saturday.
Earlier, contending that the bail application did not attach any political motive to the arrest, the public prosecutor alleged that prior to the murder and after it there were "numerous" phone calls between some of the accused and the Shankaracharya.
Also, a day after the murder, a huge amount of money was withdrawn from a private bank, a major portion of which had been recovered from some of the accused, the public prosecutor alleged.
A letter written by the victim to the pontiff before the murder, threatening to "expose" certain happenings at the Mutt was also recovered from an accused, the public prosecutor claimed.
Claiming that it was a "planned murder", he said the pontiff did not deserve any special treatment.
Arguing in favour of house arrest of the seer in view of his status, advocate I Subramaniam pointed out that the seer was an insulin-dependent diabetic. Besides, he had to perform poojas and his age should also be taken into consideration.
Contesting the claims made by the public prosecutor, Subramaniam said all cellphones on which the calls were received from the accused were not in the name of Shankaracharya but in the name of the manager of the Mutt.
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