A local court today adjourned till April 5 the hearing in the Sankararaman murder case, in which Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi and his junior Vijayendra Saraswathi are the prime accused.

Principal District and Sessions Judge T Ramaswamy adjourned the hearing following a request made by S P Sakthivelu, a retired police officer who is a witness in the case, seeking time to peruse documents relating to the case.

Mr. Sakthivelu was the Chief Investigation Officer in the case before his retirement.

Earlier Special Public Prosecutor N Devadoss examined A Muniappan, a senior police official who was part of the investigation team.

Only eight of the 24 accused were present in the court and the absentees included the two seers.

A total of 177 prosecution witnesses have been examined since the commencement of the trial two years ago, out of which 77 have turned hostile.

The trial was shifted from Chengalpattu court in Tamil Nadu to Puducherry following a Supreme Court order in 2005 on a petition by Jayendra Sarawathi.

Sankararaman, manager of Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram, was allegedly murdered in the premises of the temple on September 3, 2004.