Swami Raghavendra Thirtha, former deputy pontiff of the Kashi Math Samsthan who was arrested last week, was produced before the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Court on Tuesday.
Swami went absconding with the `Salagramams' that were being worshipped at the Mutt for centuries.
‘Salagramams’ are idols which have been worshipped at the Mutt for centuries and are fossils that are believed to have been procured from the Gandaki River in Nepal.
CBI officers brought him from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh to Kochi, after the CJM Court issued a warrant.
Swami was greeted by his followers in Ernakulam North Railway station and court premises with slogans supporting him. He was brought to the court under tight security, after a medical checkup.
Swami has confirmed in the Ernakulam CJM court that he is the person CBI was searching for. He also said that he left the state as part of a religious mission.
Later he was taken to Andhra Pradesh where he is in judicial custody.
It was in August 2015 that the Kerala High Court entrusted the CBI with the task of locating Swami Raghavendra Tirtha, following complaints the court received saying that the Swami was missing for many years.
In March 2011, Swami had fled the Mutt with 234 pieces of jewellery studded with precious stones, 27 idols, 50 silver articles and over 100 saligramas.
In October 2011, he was arrested by the Andhra Pradesh police, but not all the articles were found on him. By the time this was discovered, he had already obtained bail and disappeared again.