Two real estate businessmen from Chennai deposed as prosecution witnesses in a local court on Monday during the hearing in the Sankararaman murder case, in which Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi and his junior Vijayendra are the main accused.

Only seven of the 24 accused were present when the hearing resumed before the Principal District and Sessions Judge T. Ramasamy and the absentees included the two seers.

Special Public Prosecutor N. Devadoss examined the two witnesses.

He told PTI later that three more prosecution witnesses would be examined during the next hearing slated for tomorrow.

A total of 176 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 to Puducherry on a Supreme Court order on a petition by Jayendra Saraswathi.

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