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Transfer of case

This refers to the Supreme Court's order, transferring the Sankararaman murder case against Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi to Pondicherry. The Court has condemned the excesses of the Tamil Nadu Government in unambiguous terms.

The police acted in blatantly partisan fashion to muzzle any defence of the Acharya. Sealing of the Mutt's bank accounts, warrants against journalists, threats to advocates and warnings of defamation cases against politicians were all aimed at silencing any opposition to the Government. The media too need to introspect on the way they reported the entire episode.

N. Mahadevan,
Secunderabad

* * *

The order vindicates the popular view that the Tamil Nadu Government misused the police machinery to deal with the case. It tried to create a fear psychosis by booking the Mutt's officials under the Goondas Act, which is meant only for habitual offenders. The effort to stamp out any opposition was unprecedented.

C.R. Narayanan,
Cuddalore, T.N.

* * *

In a virtual balancing act, while the Court has conceded Jayendra Saraswathi's plea for transfer of the case outside Tamil Nadu, it has also yielded to the State's request that it be shifted to Pondicherry.

The Court rightly attributed the freezing of the Mutt's accounts to the State's bid to create a fear psychosis.

J.S. Acharya,
Hyderabad

* * *

Shifting of cases from one State to another amounts to acceptance by the higher judiciary that the lower courts are susceptible to pressure (notwithstanding the apex court's observation that the transfer of the Kanchi case is no reflection on district judiciary), and that it is difficult at times to get justice from them. Why not have a rule saying all government-related cases should be shifted to other States?

S.T. Daniel,
Tirunelveli, T.N.

* * *

Is transferring a case to another court a solution to the apprehensions of petitioners? Stringent action should be initiated against the police and other administrative agencies of the State or district from which a transfer is sought when the court is satisfied that there is sufficient ground for such a transfer. How far is it correct to merely accept that it is not possible for the petitioner to get justice, and transfer the case without simultaneously making the erring State machinery accountable? Will it not be emboldened to act in a similar fashion with respect to all the cases? What is the guarantee that the same forces will not pressure the witnesses outside the State too? Will the apex court transfer the case yet again?

S. Prakash,
Mutharasanallur, T.N.

* * *

The Court has come down heavily on the State Government for the extraordinary interest shown in the case. But it is unlikely that the State machinery will change its ways of functioning.

G. Ramachandran,
Kuzhithurai, T.N.

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