The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati in the Sankararaman murder case, in which he was arrested on November 11, 2004.
The court asked the seer not to go to the mutt till the charge sheet is filed and the probe is completed.
It also asked Jayendra Saraswati to surrender his passport.
The three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice R C Lahoti, Justice G P Mathur and Justice P P Maolekar said that "we are of the opinion that prima facie a strong case has been made out for grant of bail", and allowed Jayendra Saraswati's appeal challenging the Madras high court order refusing him bail.
"He will be relieved from prison after furnishing a bail bond and two sureties to the satisfaction of the trial court," the court said.
The court had on January 7 reserved orders on the bail application after arguments by shankaracharya's counsel Fali S Nariman, who had challenged some of the prosecution theories on which he was arrested in the murder case.
The prosecution counsel, K T S Tulsi, had opposed the application on various grounds and maintained that if the shankaracharya was released, a number of mutt officials who were witness in the case might be asked not to tell the truth.
"I am very happy with the judgment. We are not in a hurry to complete the legal formalities but I expect shankaracharya to be out on bail either late in the evening or tomorrow," Krishan Kumar, advocate for the seer, told rediff.com
The seer has been in jail ever since his arrest on Diwali day in November in the Sankararaman murder case and later in the Radhakrishan assault case.