Puducherry: During the trial in the Sankaraman murder case, the court of Principal District and Sessions Judge on Monday examined three more prosecution witnesses.

When hearing in the case resumed before the Judge, T Ramaswamy, only seven of the 24 accused were present. The absentees included Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi and his junior Jayendra Saraswathi who are the main accused in the murder case.

Of the 154 witnesses examined so far since commencement of the trial two years ago, as many as 75 have turned hostile.

Sankararaman, Manager of the Varadararjaperumal temple in Kancheepuram, was allegedly murdered on the premises of the temple on September 3, 2004.

The two seers had been accused of hatching a conspiracy to murder Sankararaman.

Special Public Prosecutor N Devadoss, who examined the prosecution witnesses, said 10 more witnesses would be examined on Tuesday.

The trial was shifted to Puducherry from Chengalpattu District Court on Supreme Court's order in October 2005.

(With agency inputs)