Kancheepuram: Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi was arrested in the sensational Sankaraman murder case in 2004 during the Jayalalithaa regime in Tamil Nadu and was cleared by a sessions court in 2013.
A Sankararaman, the manager of the Sri Varadarajaperumal temple here, was brutally murdered in his office room in the temple on 3 September 2004, by a sharp-edged weapon.
He had levelled charges of financial misappropriation in the mutt administration against Jayendra Saraswathi and his junior Vijayendra Saraswathi, who will now succeed the late seer.
Jayendra Saraswathi was arrested on 11 November 2004, on Diwali eve on charges of conspiring to murder Sankararaman.
Cases were registered against the two seers under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of IPC in connection with the murder, sending shockwaves.
Jayendra Saraswathi, who was arrested at Mahbub Nagar in Andhra Pradesh, was granted bail by the Supreme Court on 10 January 2005, after spending two months in Vellore jail.
Shankaracharya Vijayendra Saraswathi was arrested from the mutt on 10 January 2005 and got bail from the Madras High Court a month later.
The Sankaracharya moved the Supreme Court and got the case transferred to Puducherry in 2005 on grounds that the atmosphere in Tamil Nadu was vitiated and there may not be a free and fair trial.
In November 2013, the Puducherry Sessions Court acquitted Sankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi and his Deputy Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi of charges.
Besides the seers, arraigned as accused 1 and accused 2 respectively in the murder of Sankararaman, 21 other accused were also acquitted by Puducherry Principal District and Sessions Judge CS Murugan.
A total of 24 persons were made accused in the case, but one of them, Kathiravan, was killed in early 2013.