Kanchi Acharyas Jayendra Saraswati and his Junior Vijayendra Saraswati on Monday appeared before the Pondicherry Principal Sessions court in connection with the Sankararaman murder case, in which they are cited as the prime accused.
When the case came up for hearing for the first time in Pondicherry after transfer from the Chengalpattu Sessions Court on November nine for trial, all the 24 accused, including former Kanchi Mutt Manager N Sundaresa Iyer and Vijayendrar's brother Raghu, appeared in court.
Key accused Appu alias Krishnasamy and Kathiravan were brought from Cuddalore and Tiruchirapalli prisons respectively and produced before the court.
Accused-turned-approver and building contractor Ravi Subramaniam, lodged in Kancheepuram sub-jail, was also produced before the court.
After recording the presence of the accused, Principal Sessions Judge M Chinnapandi posted the case to December 12 for further hearing.
On a petition filed by the Acharyas, the Supreme Court, which had earlier stayed framing of charges against them, had on October 26 transferred the trial in the murder case from Tamil Nadu to Pondicherry as the state machinery was taking "undue interest" in securing the conviction of the accused.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice R C Lahoti and Mr Justice G P Mathur had noted that the actions of the prosecuting agency and the state machinery had created a reasonable apprehension in the minds of the accused that they would not get justice in Tamil Nadu.
Following the Apex court verdict, the Chengalpattu Sessions Court formally transferred the case to Pondicherry on November 9 and directed all accused to appear before the Pondicherry Court.