A Chennai court on Monday framed charges against the Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendara Saraswathi and 10 others in the Radhakrishnan assault case.
The accused — who were all present in court when the charges were framed — pleaded not guilty. The date for trial has been set for August 27.
The Sankaracharya has been accused of masterminding an assault on G. Radhakrishnan, the former auditor of the mutt, at his Chennai residence on September 20,2002.
Radhakrishnan had apparently tried to expose illegal activities that were allegedly taking place within the mutt.
First additional sessions judge Mohamed Issath Ali framed charges under Sections 120-B (for criminal conspiracy), 307 (for attempt to murder) and 109 (abetment) of the Indian Penal Code against Jayendra Saraswathi, Kanchi Mutt manager Sundaresa Iyer, Raghu (younger brother of junior Acharya Vijayendra Saraswathi), gangster Appu and seven of his men.
The investigation in the case had made little progress until the arrest of the seer in November 2004 for the murder of Kancheepuram Varadaraja Perumal temple manager Sankararaman in September that year.
A key accused in the murder case had indicated the alleged involvement of the Kanchi seer in the assault case as well. Jayendara Saraswathi had been granted bail in both the cases.