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HC quashes Goondas Act detentions in Sankararaman case

Source: PTI
August 04, 2005 17:00 IST
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The Madras high court on Thursday quashed the Tamil Nadu government's orders detaining the four accused in the Sankararaman murder case under the Goondas Act.

A division bench comprising Justice P Sadasivam and Justice A R Ramalingam allowed habeas corpus petitions challenging the detention of Ambika alias Ambikapathy, Pandian alias Dil Pandian, Satish and Arumugam under the Act, which is normally invoked to maintain public order and against habitual offenders.

While the Act was invoked against Ambikapathy on January 15 last, the others were detained in the first week of February.  The bench held that the four were entitled to the benefit of the conclusion arrived at by the high court in May last while quashing the detention orders of 11 other accused in the same case under the Act.

The habeas corpus petition on behalf of Ambikapathy was filed by his wife Shanthi, while in the case of three others it was filed by the accused themselves.

On May 5, another division bench comprising Justice M Karpagavinayagam and Justice C Nagappan had set aside the detention orders of the 11 accused, including Kanchi mutt manager Sundaresa Iyer and Raghu, brother of Kanchi junior seer Vijayendra Saraswathi, holding that police had not justified their action detaining them under the Act.

The judges had also held that police had failed to show that public order and even the tempo of life had been greatly affected following the murder of Sankararaman, an official of a Kancheepuram temple on September 3 last.

Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi are the main accused in the case.

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