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Approver deposes in Acharya case

Special Correspondent

Objections by defence at several stages All accused, except the Kanchi Acharya, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, were present in the court

CHENNAI: The approver in the case relating to the attack on S. Radhakrishnan of Mylapore, former associate of the Kanchi mutt, nearly three years ago, was examined by the prosecution before a city magistrate on Thursday, amidst serious objections by defence at several stages that what the approver was saying was totally irrelevant to the case on hand.

Defence counsel K.S. Dinakaran said what the approver was saying amounted to character assassination.

Another counsel said the Evidence Act had been given the go by. Special Public Prosecutor M.S. Kandasamy said the defence was interfering with the examination process. They could have their turn during the cross-examination.

The XXIII Metropolitan Magistrate, S. Umamaheswari, in whose court the approver was examined, recorded the defence's objections.

Earlier, the court dismissed an application by Lakshmanan, an accused, seeking Tamil copies of certain documents which were in English.

When the case was taken up, all accused, except the Kanchi Acharya, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, were present. His presence was dispensed with by the court.

Mr. Subramaniam explained how he was earlier engaged in garment export and later took to construction activity; how he was introduced to Sri Jayendra Saraswathi and later took up civil works given by the Acharya.

The Kanchi Acharya had told Mr. Subramaniam, Appu and Kathiravan, two accused in the case, when they met him that two persons were blackmailing him.

During a later meeting with the approver, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi asked Raghu, another accused, to bring two photographs from old albums. When Sundaresa Iyer, Kanchi mutt manager, cited as another accused, brought some albums, the Acharya gave two photos, one of Radhakrishnan and the other of Sankararaman (the Manager of Sri Varadarajaperumal temple, who was murdered) which were of postcard size in black and white, to Raghu and asked him to write the addresses on the reverse, Mr. Subramaniam said.

The Acharya put the photographs in a cover and gave it to him. Later, as told by Sri Jayendra Saraswathi to hand over the photos to Kathiravan, he sent them through his assistant.

When the Acharya and he were discussing the attack on Radhakrishnan, the former had told him there would be no problems from Radhakrishnan thereafter.

He had also told him that with a view to consoling Radhakrishnan "prasad" had been sent to him. By making such a gesture he was trying to ensure that no one linked the attack with him or the mutt.

The approver said when he went to Kumbakonam in 2004 for the Mahamaham, the Acharya gave him a bundle of Rs.1000 notes numbering 100 to be given to Kathiravan. Kathiravan got the amount from him.

The approver also said that once Sri Jayendra Saraswathi had told him, Appu and Kathiravan to eliminate Sankararaman even if it meant an expenditure of Rs. 50 lakhs.

The case has been adjourned to August 22 for cross-examination by defence.

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