Chennai: The Madras high court has condemned the police for not transferring all the 531 cases relating to idol theft in the state to the newly constituted special wing headed by AG Pon Manickavel.
When the matter came up on Thursday, government pleader M.K. Subramanian, who appeared through the video-conference before Justice R. Mahadevan, who is sitting in the Madurai Bench of Madras High court, submitted an order of appointment of Pon Manickavel IG as special officer to investigate 19 cases of the idol theft and submitted a copy of the memo issued by the DGP.
Taking a serious view of this, the judge asked the GP when the order of him made it clear that all the pending 531 cases of idol theft shall be transferred for investigation under IG Pon Manickavel and why only 19 cases were transferred.
The direction of the court was to the chief secretary to create a separate special court in Kumbakonam for conducting the trial of idol theft cases and what made the DGP transfer only 19 cases he asked.
The judge warned that he would issue a contempt notice to the chief secretary and DGP. Following repeated requests from GP not to initiate contempt notice, the judge dropped it and said everyone, including chief secretary, DGP or IG, should obey the orders of the high court and nobody is exempt.
Later, the GP submitted that the 19 cases were transferred only on the request made by IG Pon Manickavel. The counsel for HR&CE department submitted that the details with regarding the number of temples and idols functioning under the department were submitted to IG. Adjourning the matter to September 11, the judge directed the state public prosecutor to appear before the court.
The DGP in an order dated September 5, 2017, has appointed IG Pon Manickavel as special officer to investigate the idol theft cases.
IPS officers Pon Manickavel, Tamil Chandran was allocated to the special wing. The wing comprises total 29 police personnel, including a DSP, five inspectors, 3 SIs and 4 SSIs.