Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati was on Tuesday released from Vellore Jail, a day after the Supreme Court granted him bail in the Sankararaman murder case.
The seer had spent two months in custody. He had inbetween made several pleas for bail, in various courts. On January 3, he had got bail in connection with the Radhakrishna assault case but was being held in connection with the investigation into Sankararaman's murder.
Incidentally, on January 10, the junior seer of the Kanchi Mutt, Vijayendra Saraswati, was arrested and remanded to judicial custody for 15 days in connection with the same case.
A beaming Jayendra Saraswati came out at 4:30 pm and was received at the jail gate by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal, former Union minister S Thirunavukkarasar and a large number of mutt officials and devotees.
The smiling seer waved to his admirers and cameramen but did not speak to waiting newspersons. Many devotees fell at his feet as he waded through the crowd to go to his vehicle.
The seer walked into the waiting yellow van of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam amidst tight security and headed for Kalavai, about 40km from Kancheepuram, as the Supreme Court has barred him from going to the Kanchi Mutt.
A Tamil Nadu police vehicle followed the van.
Mutt sources said the seer would start conducting prayers at Kalavai from Tuesday evening itself.
The Supreme Court had on Monday ordered his release on bail on his furnishing a personal bond and two sureties to the satisfaction of the chief judicial magistrate, Chengalpet. While granting bail, the apex court had castigated the Tamil Nadu police for having gathered 'no evidence or material' against the seer.
"We are of the opinion that prima facie a strong case has been made out for grant of bail to the Shankaracharya," a bench comprising Chief Justice R C Lahoti, Justice G P Mathur and Justice P P Naolekar said while restraining the seer from visiting the Kanchi Mutt till the investigation into the murder case is completed.
The court rejected the prosecution's claim that Sankararaman's tirade against the alleged mal-administration of the mutt and illegal activities of the seer was one of the motives for the Shankaracharya to eliminate him.