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Plea against bail to seer

November 16, 2004 21:41 IST

Two petitions -- one by a city advocate and another by Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam -- were filed in the Madras high court on Tuesday, opposing the grant of bail to Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi, arrested in a murder case.

The high court will continue hearing on the bail application filed by the pontiff on Wednesday. On Saturday, Justice R Balasubramanian adjourned to Wednesday hearing of the application following a request from Ram Jethmalani, the counsel for the Shankaracharya. Jethmalani sought time to get more details on his client's arrest.

Opposing the grant of bail to the seer, advocate Senthil Kumar, in his petition, alleged that the Shankaracharya, if released on bail, might harass witnesses.

In a separate petition, the Kazhagam's president, Kolathur Mani, said one of the reasons given for seeking bail - that the seer had to perform pooja thrice daily - could not be accepted. Other jail inmates performed pooja in prisons, while an accused in the February 1998 Coimbatore bomb blasts performed namaaz in jail, the petitioner said, adding if the bail was granted to the seer it would set a bad precedent.

Meanwhile, a group of advocates, led by Madras High Court Advocates' Association president Prabhakaran, on Tuesday staged a demonstration on the court premises against the attack on some lawyers on November 12, following a clash between groups supporting and opposing the seer.

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