Chennai: M. Kavitha, additional commissioner of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) department, arrested on Tuesday in connection with the alleged misappropriation in making a gold idol of Lord Somaskandar for the ancient Ekambaranathar temple in neighbouring Kancheepuram district, has approached the Madras high court seeking bail.
Directing the public prosecutor to get instructions on the bail petition filed by Kavitha, special division bench comprising Justice R. Mahadevan and Justice P.D Audikesavalu, constituted to deal with the idol theft cases, has asked to clarify what is the urgency of arresting her now if the FIR was registered one year ago. Later, the judges posted the matter to Friday.
The petitioner was arrested by the inspector of police, Sivakanchi police station of Kancheepuram on a complaint from S. Annamalai with regard to making of two new Panchaloha idols for Sri Ekambaranathat temple in Kancheepuram. Along with others she had been accused of ‘misappropriation’ gold obtained from devotees and philanthropists for making Lord Somaskandar’s idol. The idol wing police found that the misappropriation had happened during the consecration of the idol and that there was not even a gram of gold in the idol, which was supposed to contain at least 5.75 kg gold.
In the petition, Kavitha said that she was innocent and holding the post since 2013 and discharging her official duties with utmost sincerity.
However, a FIR was registered in 2017. She was not included as an accused the FIR. Moreover, the Madras high court had stayed subsequent FIR’s filed in 2018 on July 23, 2018. The prime accused in the case already obtained bail.
Meanwhile, Muthiah Sthapathi, who is alleged to be under house arrest for the past 90 days, has filed a modification petition before the same bench.
Earlier, the Madras high court Madurai bench had granted bail to Muthiah Sthapathi on the condition to deposit Rs 7 lakh and with another condition that he should not contact any of the persons without the leave of the court.
The counsels for sthapathi submitted that Muthaiah is unable to talk to anyone including his family members by phone or mobile because of the order of the court and almost 90 days over now. He prayed the bench to modify both the conditions with regard to deposit of amount and as well as relaxation with regard to his movement. Later, the Bench posted matter to Friday for further hearing....