Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Supreme Court raps TN govt, police

Chennai Online News Service

New Delhi, Oct 26: Shifting the Sankararaman murder case to Pondicherry, the Supreme Court today observed that there was a case for "reasonable apprehension" that the accused will not get justice in Tamil Nadu.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice R C Lahoti and Justice G P Mathur also felt that the Tamil Nadu government was showing "interest in securing the conviction of the seer and halting the religious activities of the Kanchi mutt."

The trial will now be shifted from the Principal Sessions Judge, Chengalpattu, to Principal Sessions Judge, Pondicherry, a Union Territory where too Tamil is the language of court proceedings.

The Bench said, "We are of the opinion to transfer the case to Pondicherry as there will be no difficulty in recording the evidence in the same language (Tamil) in which all the witnesses would depose."

The apex court criticised the prosecuting agencies for showing "extra interest" in the case only on the ground that the Sankaracharya, who has been chargesheeted in the case for allegedly entering into conspiracy to murder, is the head of the mutt.

"It leads to an inference that state machinery is not only interested in securing conviction of the petitioner (seer) and other co-accused but also bringing to a complete halt the entire religious and other activities of the various trusts and endowments and the performance of pooja and other rituals in the temples and religious places in accordance with the customs and traditions and thereby create a fear psychosis in the minds of the people," the court observed.

The court said the action of freezing the accounts of the mutt demonstrates as to what extent the state machinery can go while prosecuting the seer in the Sankararaman murder case.

"The freezing of all the accounts (183) of the mutt and its associated trusts and endowments is a clear pointer to the fact that the state machinery anyhow wants to paralyse the entire working of the mutt and the associate trusts and endowments in order to put pressure upon the seer and other co-accused who are in the manner connected with the mutt so that they may not able to defend themselves," it said.

Justice Mathur, writing the 41-page judgement for the Bench, said the materials placed on record satisfies that various hurdles have been created by the state machinery in the case for the accused persons and criticised the prosecuting agencies for targeting the counsel, including senior advocates, who stood for the defence of the acharya.

"From the material placed before us, we are prima facie satisfied that a situation has arisen in the present case wherein the lawyers engaged by the petitioner and other co-accused cannot perform their professional duty in a proper and dignified manner on account of various hurdles created by the state machinery.

"The affidavits and the documents placed on record conclusively establish that a serious attempt has been made by the state machinery to launch criminal prosecution against lawyers, who may be even remotely connected with the defence of the accused," the Bench said.

The court took strong exception to the Tamil Nadu government's attempt to "stifle even publication of any article or expression of dissent in media or press, interviews by journalists or persons who have held high positions in public life and are wholly unconnected with the criminal case." (Agencies)

Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Politics behind Kanchi Seer’s arrest

By Vijay Rana

A divided society, distorted law and the politics of competitive

When the state begins to misuse its powers no body is safe. Today we have seen the arrest and the subsequent humiliation of a Hindu saint; tomorrow another mercurial chief minister might order the arrest a Muslim Imam or a Christian bishop. Those gloating at the arrest of Shankaracharya should remember that the politics of religion is bad for all.

Whether the Kanchi Shankaracharya, Jayendra Saraswati, has a hand in the murder of Shankararaman, the manager of the Varadarajaperumal temple, most of us do not know. Moreover, the manner of arrest and the treatment of the law enforcing agencies, the police and judiciary, arouse many questions that must be sensibly debated and dispassionately discussed in a free and democratic society.

But one of the major obstructions to free debate is that most of us are blinded by sectional and class interests. And such people, our politicians know, could easily be shepherded in the desired direction. It’s no secret that the desire to consolidate anti-Brahmin vote prompted both Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha to take tough action against Shankaracharya.

Though Karunanidhi is now trying to be clever to blame Jayalalitha for the harsh treatment of Shankaracharya. Let’s hope both Brahmin and non-Brahmins of Tamil Nadu are able to see through his cynical manipulation. And that is the biggest problem of Indian democracy. In recent years whether it is Gujarat, Bihar or Tamil Nadu our people have shown an increasing tendency to fall prey to the divisive political calculations of our politicians.

Another worrying aspect of the Shankaracharya affair has been the intellectual polarisation reflected in the media. One hue of column writers expressed satisfaction at the fact that barring Brahmins nobody was bothered by the arrest; those on the other end of spectrum described it a calculated assault on Hinduism. Those who argued against the arrest of the Kanchi Shankaracharya were branded as sympathisers of the Hindu fundamentalists and those who supported the arrest became champions of secularism and pro-Dalit movements. It was either black or white. To some the Shankaracharya was a God and to others a demon. Intellectual extremism is more dangerous than political extremism because intellectuals provide to ammunition of ideas to fire the flames of political extremism.

Thank god the Shankaracharya’s followers have so far behaved with great restraints. One could sense the hurt and consequent tension simmering in Tamil Nadu. You need one stupid man to spark a Brahmin versus non-Brahmin riot in the state.

Of course the manner of Shankaracharya’s arrest has raised many questions that should be discussed dispassionately without being blinded by political loyalties.

The first issue is about hurting the sentiments of a particular community. Shouldn't’t this principle be applied universally to all communities in India? The obvious answer would be, yes.

Shankaracharya is the head of one of the most ancient institutions of the Hindu religion. He is worshipped by millions of devotees. But there were politicians, particularly from parties like the DMK, the CPI, CPI (M) and RJD, who were gleefully smiling at the discomfiture of the Hindu saint. If community leaders indulge in mocking at each other’s difficulties we are entering in an age of competitive hatred.

One the other hand it was really heartening to see some Muslim organisations setting an extraordinary example of social understanding and communal empathy. The All India Organisation of Imams of Mosques (AIOIM) issued a descent and a very dignified statement: "AIOIM notes with consternation and deep regret the actions of the Tamil Nadu government and politicians that have culminated in the arrest of the highly respected Shankaracharya. The entire Muslim society is saddened and shocked with this reprehensible action…The Muslim community hold the seer with great respect, particularly in view of his "constructive" approach in solving Ayodhya problem and hoped the government will not allow inimical groups to subvert impartial inquiry and application of law in his case.”

And that brings us to another comment that we have repeatedly heard about Shankaracharya’s arrest – ‘the law should take its due course’. Unfortunately this has now become the main point of contention. How come the law suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, on the eve of the biggest Hindu festival to arrest one of the most respected Hindu leaders? And how come the state police was literally waked up a sleeping magistrate early in the morning to help them to put the Seer in the jail. And why did the magistrate deny Shankaracharya the opportunity of legal representation, a basic right of any accused?

The prosecution put forward some ludicrous arguments that the old man was conspiring to fly away to Nepal and if allowed to cook his food he would commit suicide by poisoning his own food. The judge, convinced by these arguments, refused bail. If that was ‘the due course of law’, the law was surely treading upon an undue and undeserving course.

No one was in doubt that it all happened on the orders of the all-powerful Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha, known for her legendary vengeance. Remember it was on her orders that her arch-opponent Karunanidhi was once dragged out of his house by the police, again in the middle of the night, and it was on her orders that another state leader Vaiko was put in jail for months under the draconian POTA.

Certainly, the so-called ‘due course of law’ in India varies according to the friendly or unfriendliness of the accused with those in power. For politicians and politically connected people in India ‘the due course of law’ means years of litigation and a guaranteed acquittal. Tantrik Chandraswami is the most recent example of this.

So Shankaracharya must be confident that in the end he will be acquitted. The process already seems to have begun with two of the accused saying that they named Shankaracharya under police torture.

He must also take heart from the examples of the long legion of politicians accused of more serious crimes and still happily going through the ‘due course of law’. Laloo Yadav, who presided over the fodder scam, virtually emptying the state exchequer, is still going strong as per the due course of law. Shibu Soren, now preparing to become the next Chief Minister of Jharkahand, was also accused of committing a murder but the due course of law allowed him to hide for as many days as he wanted and then an obliging judge gave him the bail. Taslimuddin, another central minister who has been terrorising local community for years, confidently boasts that nothing has ever been proved against him in a court of law. And Sadhu Yadav has been enjoying more comforts in jail than Shankaracharya, including the freedom to go in and out of prison as and when he wants.

Also look at the BJP in Gujarat, their rabble-rousing MLAs, seen openly inciting violence during the recent riots, remain totally untroubled by the due course of law, as we all know most of the witnesses have been either threatened to remain silent or bought off.

Subverting the course of justice has itself been a serious crime in all the civilised societies of the world. But democratic India remains a glaring exception where powerful politicians either misuse the process of law to harass its opponents or undermine it to carry on their criminal adventures.

Shankaracharya’s arrest once again proved that our politicians do not mind undermining peace and social harmony to fulfil their political interests.

PS: Despite numerous appeals by Hindu saints, organisations and many political leaders, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while denying any hand of the federal government in the affair, remained quiet on the affair for almost fourteen days. And then he wrote a letter the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha. He wrote: "An investigation involving a person of his eminence needs to be conducted with extreme care and consideration … I believe that the Government of Tamil Nadu has had to take this extreme step of arresting Swamiji keeping in view the gravity of the allegations against His Holiness in the murder case…Whereas it is extremely important that due processes of law must not be interfered with and that law must be allowed to take its own course…” Indeed, a great balancing act.

Vijay Rana

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The 'blinkered' rights

The first phase of the Kanchipeeth Shankaracharya episode lasted a couple of months. It began with the arrest of Jayendra Saraswati in Mehbubnagar in Andhra Pradesh and ended with his bail being granted by Supreme Court. This was followed by the junior pontiff Vijyendra Saraswati being bailed out by a local court.

In the second phase, it seems, journalists and media houses are being targeted. The chief target is S Gurumurthy. Being a devotee of the Kanchikamkoti Peetham, Gurumurthy plunged headlong to save the 2,500-year-old mutt through his columns in The New Indian Express.

Jayalalitha has targeted him and the publishers of The New Indian Express and Tughlak for his writings. She has a history of filing more than 200 defamation cases against various Tamil Nadu publications, including The Hindu. She regards the Press as an adversary and journalists as troublemakers. The Press in Tamil Nadu is not as free as in Mumbai and New Delhi. The Daily Dinamalar which has been publishing news items and features sympathetic to the mutt, too, has been at the receiving end.

Had Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi done this, the Editors Guild of India, journalist organisations and intellectuals of all hues would have launched protests. But the messiahs of Press freedom are mum. Why? After all, is it not clear that after the bail of Jayendra Saraswati, the Tamil Nadu Government had no prima facie case against him? Yet Vijayendra Saraswati was arrested without any additional facts in the Shankararaman murder case. Are Shankaracharyas not entitled to human rights?

Earlier, S Gurumurthy was summoned by the police to clarify certain things. The entire session was taped and part of it mixed with falsehood leaked to the Tamil weekly Nakkeeran alongwith pictures. At this juncture, Jayalalitha decided to arrest him. As luck would have it, the police could not trace him in Chennai as Gurumurthy had an official engagement in Mumbai. From Mumbai, advocate Mahesh Jethmalani faxed a notice to SIT SP Chennai on behalf of his client, inter-alia stating that his client would file a case against SIT. He also told him that his client has professional engagements till February 25 and he will come back to Chennai on February 26. Further, his Chennai lawyer R Shankaranarayanan, in a legal notice sent to SIT SP Premkumar, ASP SP Saktivelu and ADSP Udhay Shankar, said: "Now that you have deliberately leaked information to the media, you cannot have any objection to giving a CD or copy of the recorded video tape to my client.''

Gurumurthy was examined by SIT for writing articles, which, according to SIT, "throw the cue that you are acquainted with the facts and circumstances of this murder case.''

According to Shankaranarayanan, the SIT never took the consent of Gurumurthy for recording his statements and it was illegal. Stating that Gurumurthy was convinced that the statements attributed to him and the three photographs which appeared in Nakkeeran must have been leaked out by SIT, Shankaranarayanan said that while some statements were correct, others weren't.

Shankaranarayanan pointed out that no statement or any record, including photo or video records, shall be used for any purpose other than at any inquiry or trial in respect of the offence under investigation. In his writings, Gurumurthy has raised some uncomfortable questions. Going by her nature, Jayalalitha seems determined to arrest him. Maybe, for tactical reasons, bailable sections of the IPC have been inserted in the arrest warrant, but the whimsical State Government may add other charges to make a strong case under the non-bailable sections.

Those activists who were raising a hue and cry about Press freedom in Nepal haven't condemned the harassment of Daily Dinamalar, questioning veteran journalist Cho Ramaswamy and The New Indian Express managing director Manoj Santhalia. All these journalists and organisations have traditionally been more anti-DMK than anti-Jayalalitha.

The hostility of the Chief Minister towards them is compounding and attaining threatening levels. No human rights organisation has raised its voice against these atrocities of the State Government.

But this can be understood, for most of the so-called human rights organisations are foreign funded. For them, terrorists, separatists and extremists have human rights, not law abiding citizens, least of all the Shankaracharyas.

“Quis costodiet ipsos custodies? (Who will watch the watchers?)

excerpts from

Apart from the odd article in the Tamil Press, we were unable to find any detailed coverage of erstwhile Kanchi Mutt manager Sundaresa Iyer’s Habeas Corpus hearing.

Yet, this case has significance for the entire Tamil public, if not the nation, as it touches on fundamental questions of governance and the limits of police power. Any judgments handed down in this case will, directly or indirectly, impact Tamilians’ lives, and the degree of power the Executive branch of the State Government has over them.

If this article from Tamil daily Dinakaran (translated here) is accurate, then the Tamil Nadu Government is staking the claim that anyone accused of participation in a gruesome murder can be preventively detained under the Goonda’s Act, and thence become ineligible for bail for upto a year.

The Prosecution’s argument appears to be that, since gruesome murders (especially those committed in daylight) disturb the public peace, the Goonda’s Act can be applied to anyone merely accused of such a crime.

It is a bit difficult to discern how exactly the public peace was disturbed in this case. The unfortunate victim was murdered way back in September of last year – more than 6 months ago! What public disturbance has occurred in Kanchipuram since then? Were there any riots back in October or November?

Since the Sankaracharya’s arrest, there have been demonstrations in Vellore, Chennai and all across Tamil Nadu. Most of them have occurred under the watchful eyes of intense police security, with hardly any violence, save a skirmish or two. In fact, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu herself was so unimpressed by these events that she declared in the Tamil Nadu assembley on November 18th: “These steps (referring to the Sankaracharya’s arrest) have not led to any law and order problem in Tamil Nadu.” (The Hindu, Nov 18, 2004).

In any case, those public protests, immediately suppressed ruthlessly by police, arose in response to the Sankaracharya’s arrest, an action the Tamil Nadu Government took. What do these - bye and large peaceful - protests have to do with Sri Sundaresa Iyer?

The Government’s contention that Sri Sankarraman’s gruesome murder disturbed the public peace is not only untenable, but, even if granted, wholly irrelevant to Sundaresa Iyer’s petition.

Moreover, the rationale given by the Prosecutor for invoking the Goonda’s Act is itself arbitrary. Is anyone accused of murder to be detained preventively now? After all, what murder isn’t gruesome?

If the Prosecution’s argument is upheld, anyone in Tamil Nadu need only be accused of a murder in order to be thrown in prison by executive order for up to a year, with no opportunity for bail, and no due process of law. In Sundaresa Iyer’s case, no court has ever examined the evidence to say whether even a prima facie case exists against him. Yet, Sri Sundaresa Iyer is locked up in a cell, and cannot even get a bail hearing before a judge because the Goonda’s Act has been slapped on him.

Is society served by such a state of affairs? What would limit the Executive branch from curtailing the liberty of any individual, effectively suo moto? What would stop any dishonest cop from getting anyone he bears a grudge against - or who won’t pay him protection money - charged of such a crime, and thrown into prison as Sundaresa Iyer has? What would protect a sitting Government’s political opponent or even civilian critics of the Executive from the same treatment?

Who, as the Roman poet asked, will watch over the watchers? This broad an interpretation of the Goonda’s Preventive Detention Act is surely an invitation to tyranny. That an individual so accused could file a Habeas Corpus plea before the courts is simply insufficient remedy. Sundaresa Iyer has now spent 95 days in prison. It is simply unacceptable that any accused, presumed innocent until proven guilty, should be deprived of due process in this manner.

It is the Executive’s power that must be curtailed at the outset. Any law, most especially one that allows preventive detention, must be applied judiciously – with restraint. That has simply not been the case here.

Meanwhile, we are appalled by the paltry coverage of this case in the media-at-large. When such grave public issues are involved, the press ought to at the very least show up. Instead, the English Language Media has largely absconded. The issues in this case surely deserve national attention and public debate. Where is The Indian Express or The Hindustan Times? Where, for that matter, is Chennai-based ‘The Hindu’? Here arise fundamental questions about the limits of police power – Where have all the secular humanists run?

George Washington once said: "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

Monday, March 28, 2005

Kanchi seer returns to mutt, performs puja

Press Trust Of India
Monday, March 28, 2005

Kancheepuram, March 28: Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswathi on Monday visited the Sankara mutt for the first time since his arrest in connection with the Sankararaman murder case in October.

The seer spent nearly an hour at the mutt during which he performed puja and did meditation in front of the adishtanam (samadhi) of the Mahaswami Chandrasekhara Saraswathi, mutt sources said.

Later, he left for Kalavai.

Since the chargesheet has been filed in the Sankararaman murder case, the bail conditions prohibiting his entry into the mutt no longer exist and he did not violate the bail conditions, police said.

Earlier today, the seer visited the Kamakshi Amman temple here and performed milk abhishekam to the Adhi Sankara and Saraswathi shrines before visiting the nearby Kousikeswarar temple.

The seer had made a public appearance at the deemed university of Chandra Sekarendra Saraswathi Viswamaha Vidhyalaya at Enathur yesterday where a convocation was held.

He reached the university from Kalavai soon after the convocation speeches and citation ceremonies were over, university sources said.

He blessed the gathering and distributed prasadams to students and parents who were present.

The seer also held a meeting with board members of the university and later returned to Kalavai.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Charge of involvement in murder not true: Jr Seer

Wednesday, January 19 2005 19:21 Hrs (IST) - World Time -

Kancheepuram: The Junior Pontiff of Kanchi Mutt Vijayendra Saraswathi today (Jan 19, 2005) said there was not even one per cent truth in the charge of involvement of the Senior Acharya Jayendra Saraswathi and himself in the murder of the temple official Sankararaman.

"This case has not even one per cent of truth. With the help of God, elders and sages, we will come through this present crisis of bad name and bad times," he told reporters after he was remanded to judicial custody till January 24.

"Stand united and strive for the excellence of the Samaj," he said as he was boarding a police van.

He also addressed the people, who had thronged outside the magistrate court, for the first time since he was arrested on January 10.

He said the youth of India and abroad were all praying and striving hard for the well being of mankind. "All will be well soon by God's grace and these bad times will end," he said while referring to the Sankararaman murder case.

Earlier, after completion of one-day police custody, he was produced before the first class judicial magistrate G Uthamaraj.

Vijayendra's counsel, Y Thygarajan requested the magistrate to order for Ayurvedic treatment to the Seer as he was suffering from pain in the neck. The magistrate asked him to file a petition for this purpose.

Earlier, when Vijayendra started speaking to the lawyers and spectators inside the court hall, the magistrate had to call for order.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Saraswati punished for countering Christian propaganda: RSS

[India News]: Mangalore, Mar 13 : RSS leaders have said that Jayendra Saraswati, has been punished for countering Christian conversion propaganda.

RSS chief KS Sudarshan, has accused the Central government of harassing Jayendra Saraswathi.

Saraswathi, implicated in a series of cases, ranging from money laundering to assaults, was earlier arrested in a case relating to the murder of a temple official, Shankararaman, who incidentally was also a bitter critic of the Seer.

Saraswati ic was granted bail in January, after nearly a month of detention and massive nation wide protests by Hindu groups.

The RSS said that the seer's extensive charity work was increasingly luring India's poor away from Christian missionaries.

"Even now the seer is being harassed and victimized and all this is happening at the behest of the Central government. It is under pressure from Christian missionaries who have been destabilized by Shankaracharya. The number of hospitals, school and charity organisations opened by him came as a boon for the poor people," Sudarshan told thousands of party workers at a conclave in Mangalore. (ANI)

One-day fast on 'malicious' campaign against religious heads

[India News]: Chennai, Mar 12 : Devotees of the two Kanshi seers will observe a one-day fast tomorrow against the "systematic and malicious" campaign against Hindu religious heads, demanding withdrawal of cases against them Kanchi Kamakoti Akila Bharatha Devotees Forum and the VHP women's wing would observe the fast and a a group prayer would also be held, Janata Party Tamil Nadu unit president V S Chandralekha told reporters here today.

Chandralekha alleged that a public disinformation campaign had been mounted against the seers and that "bogus" video clippings and interviews had been published to "discredit them", particularly by a Tamil weekly.

If the state government did not take legal action against the weekly by April 14, "we shall file a private complaint before the court", Chandralekha said.

She alleged that Jayendra Saraswathi's proximity to the Dalits and backward classes had angered some political parties and claimed that the people's anger would be reflected in the assembly polls next year. PTI

High Court Separates Mutt And Kanchi Seer

CHENNAI, INDIA, March 6, 2005: Madras High court has ruled that the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt is a "separate organization and legal entity by itself," as distinct from the "head" who leads it. Justice K.P. Sivasubramaniam gave the far-reaching ruling while setting aside the special investigation team's recent directive to banks to "freeze" the mutt's bank accounts. The SIT is investigating the Shankar Raman murder case, in which Jayendra Saraswati and his junior Vijayendra Saraswati are the first and the second accused. The court ruled as "illegal" the police directive that froze 183 bank accounts of various institutions under the mutt, bringing its daily activities to a halt. In response to Jayendra Saraswati's challenge of the police order, Justice Sivasubramaniam said the Kanchi mutt "is a religious institution, entitled to constitutional protection, as envisaged under Article 26 of the Indian Constitution." Such institutions "are accepted as institutions/juridical persons..." the judge said. They do not necessarily have to be registered under any act in view of their antiquity and "acceptance to a large section of the members of society as representing their faith," the judge added. The court ruled that the daily activities of the mutt and the money it receives or spends on the activities "can absolutely have no relevance to the offences alleged to have been committed earlier by the head of the mutt or for the investigation into these offences."

Thursday, March 10, 2005

How do you spell hypocrisy? P-R-E-M-K-U-M-A-R

"Kanchi SP's complaint against Gurumurthy"

Chennai, March 9: Kanchipuram District Superintendent of Police, SP Premkumar said that he has filed a complaint against journalist S. Gurumurthy with the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Auditor S. Gurumurthy writes articles in the newspapers from time to time. He wrote some articles regarding the arrest of Jayendra [Swamigal] in the Sankarraman murder case.

In connection with this, Kanchipuram police registered a case against him. Gurumurthy filed a writ petition requesting cancellation of this case in the High Court.

In this regard, Premkumar has filed a response petition in which he [ie Premkumar] said:

"Our intention is not to take revenge on Gurumurthy. He cannot claim special rights since he writes articles for the newspapers [journals]. Gurumurthy, although an auditor, writes articles for newspapers without the permission for the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Opposing that, I have given a complaint in the Delhi Institute of Chartered Accountants against him.

The Constitution gives the freedom to express themselves to everyone. But Gurumurthy is not exempted from actions being taken against him on the basis of Indian Criminal Code sections.

There is wrong publicity spread that I am acting unlawfully in the Sankarraman murder case. The writ petition filed by Gurumurthy should be dismissed," said Premkumar. This case is coming up for hearing on the 14th of this month [ie. March 14].

No connection to Sankaracharya's defense lawyers, says High Court!

Saturday, March5,2005

"Threat Complaint - 'Will not arrest lawyers for now': Prosecutor"
Chennai, March 5: "In connection with the case of threats, the accused turned approver in the Sankararaman murder case, Ravi Subramoniam, (we) will not arrest the Kanchipuram lawyers now", said the Government lawyer in Chennai High Court.

Police have registered a case saying that female lawyers Revathy and Nadira Banu went to Kanchipuram Sub Jail and threatened Ravi Subramoniam.
Kanchipuram lawyer Shanmugam had filed a petition against this asking for CBI investigation into this case.Chennai High Court Justice K.P.Sivasubramoniam heard this petition on Friday.

Senior lawyer Chanduru appeared on behalf of the petitioner. He argued that the police should not register cases like these with the intention of intimidating the lawyers who are doing their duty to defend the accused in this case.
"From the beginning, the police investigation in this case has been antagonistic towards the lawyers. The police have filed this case solely with the intention to intimidate the defence lawyers in the Sankararaman murder case."

Prosecutor K.Doraisamy argued : "[One] cannot say that actions cannot be taken against lawyers only because they are lawyers. Two female lawyers have threatened Ravi Subramoniam in Kanchipuram Sub Jail to retract his statement against Jayendrar. The investigation is still in the beginning stage. In this matter, I will present a detailed counter petition next week."

Following this, the [Honorable] Justice said: "The complaint is given only against the women lawyers, Revathy and Nadira Banu. Ravi Subramoniam has not mentioned the names of their senior lawyers, Shanmugam and Thyagarajan in the complaint. These two senior lawyers appear on behalf of the defendants in the Sankararaman murder case.

It is not evident that there is any connection between the petitioner Shanmugam and the complaint lodged against him by the police. Even the FIR lodged by the police mentions only the names of Revathy and Nadira Banu.

The petitioner considers that the case has been registered solely to intimidate the lawyers who appear on behalf of the defendants in the Sankararaman murder case."

The Prosecutor said that [they] would not arrest the senior lawyers Shanmugam and Thyagarajan for now. His statement is being recorded[ Translator's note: could be "registered"] in the court.The hearing is being adjourned to March 11th in order to allow [the Prosecutor] to lodge his counter petition, said the Judge.