HC warns to shift idol theft cases to CBI if no strong action is taken

HC warns to shift idol theft cases to CBI if no strong action is taken

The Madras High Court has warned that if steps are not taken to strengthen the rooms where idols are kept to curb thefts, it will be constrained to entrust such cases to CBI.

Justice R Mahadevan issued the warning on Wednesday when ‘Elephant’ G Rajendran, an advocate, who had raked up the issue, filed a memo alleging the deplorable condition of the ‘strong’ room in which idols of a temple at Koneripalayam in Nagapattinam district were kept.

The judge, during the course of the hearing, took serious view of the news published in some newspapers with regard to theft of idols at the Annamalaiyar temple in Tiruvannamalai, said the court was seized of the matter.

Idol thefts have become regular in the state, the place where Saiva and Vaishnavaculture were born, he said, adding that it showed the sorry state of affairs.

“It is a very sorry state of affairs in the State. This is totally unacceptable. The petitioner (Narasimhan) has been repeatedly approaching the government officials, but not an inch has moved. If idols are missing from each and every temple, then we will have to ask the CBI to probe into it. Why should there be a HR&CE department at all?” the judge asked.

The high court had, on June 27, made it clear that no one can interfere with the probe into idol theft cases in the state being carried out by a team headed by a senior IPS officer, Pon Manickavel, appointed by it.