The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed for eight weeks the trial in the Sankararaman murder case, in which Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi is the prime accused, on a petition alleging an attempt to influence the court verdict.
The order staying the proceedings before the Principal Sessions Judge against the Seer, his junior Vijayendra Saraswathi and 22 others in Puducherry was issued by Justice K Suguna on a petition filed by city-based advocate P Sundrarajan.
The judge also issued notice of motion to the respondent Registrar (Vigilance) of the high court.
The petitioner submitted that some video footage on purported conversation between Sankaracharya and some others has emerged regarding alleged payments made and to be made by the seer to influence the judgement in the case.
The petitioner sought a stay on the trial and a direction to the Registrar (Vigilance) to commence a statutory investigation by filing an FIR on his complaint lodged on August 18 last and a re-trial of the case.
Sankararaman, manager of Varadarajaperumal temple in Kancheepuram, was murdered in the premises of the temple on September 3, 2004.
The two seers have been charged with entering into a conspiracy and hiring a gang to murder Sankararaman out of previous enmity.
A total of 189 witnesses have been examined and cross-examined since commencement of the trial in April 2009, of whom 87 have turned hostile.
The trial was shifted to Puducherry from a Chengalpattu court on a directive by the Supreme Court on a writ petition filed by the senior Sankaracharya in October 2005.