CHENNAI: Ravi Subramaniam, who turned approver in the Sankararaman murder case, has approached the Madras High Court seeking release from custody.
A Division Bench, comprising Justices P.D. Dinakaran and R. Regupathi, ordered notice to the Government.
Mr. Subramaniam, lodged in the Kancheepuram sub-jail, was arrested in June 2004 in connection with the murder case. He turned approver later.
The Jurisdictional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court granted him the pardon in January 2005. In his present habeas corpus petition, he contended that Section 306(4)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure mandated that persons accepting the tender of pardon when already on bail had to be detained in custody till the end of trial.
However, in his case, since he had turned approver and was treated as a witness, and not as an accused, he could not be granted bail under the provision of Section 439 of the CrPC. Mr. Subramaniam said he was filing the present habeas corpus petition since there was no other provision under which the court was empowered to grant him bail.
He has also filed a similar petition in the Radhakrishnan assault case.
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| SC to hear Kanchi seer plea in January |
Published: Monday, December 03, 2007
New Delhi, Dec 3: The Supreme Court today agreed to hear in the first week of January 2008 an application moved by Kanchi seer Swami Jayendra Saraswathi challenging the Tamil Nadu Government's decision to appoint its public prosecutor in the Shankaraman murder trial being conducted in Pondicherry.
A bench of Justices G P Mathur and P Sathasivam, agreed for the hearing after senior counsel Fali Nariman appearing for the pontiff sought an appropriate direction from the court to ensure that the trial was conducted by the Pondicherry.
He pleaded that the matter be heard on a priority as the trial was also getting delayed.
It was argued on behalf of the pontiff that Tamil Nadu cannot appoint a prosecutor particulary when the trial had been shifted to Pondicherry.
The seer had apprehended that the State Government would make every effort to frame him in the case.
"How are you prejudiced in this case. There is also a change of Government," the bench observed, to which the senior counsel said that irrespective of the change, the trial should be conducted only by a prosecutor from Pondicherry where the trial has been shifted.
The bench then said that it would consider the request in January and reminded that in the Best Bakery Case too it had directed that the prosecutor be appointed only from the State where the trial had been shifted to. In May last year, the apex court had stayed the trial being conducted in Pondicherry after the Shankaracharya filed an application challenging the conduct of trial appointed by the Jayalalitha Government.
In November 2004, the Shankaracharaya was arrested by the Tamil Nadu police for allegedly engineering the murder of Shankaraman, priest of the Vardaraja Perumal Temple, on September 3 2004. (Agencies)