Chennai: N.Thirumgal, Additional Commissioner (General), Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department, has filed a petition in the Madras high court to quash an FIR registered against her in connection with an alleged incident of swapping of a peacock idol in Kapaleeshwarar temple in Mylapore, when she was the Deputy Commissioner/Executive Officer of the said temple in 2004.
This petition is likely to come up for hearing soon.
In her petition, Thirumagal submitted that she has been arrayed as the second accused in the FIR filed under sections 403, 406, 409, 202 and 120-B of IPC dated July 23, 2018. She was innocent and yet with ulterior motive she has been not merely implicated in the case as an accused but being hounded with negative publicity being made in visual and print media portraying her as a “thief”, she added.
She said she was posted as DC/EO at Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar Temple, Mylapore, Chennai between 2002 and 2007. As a DC/EO of Kapaleeswarar temple, she redeemed 100 grounds of prime lands of the temple in Chennai from encroachers which were worth several hundred crores and safeguarded the properties by constructing compound walls and fixed epigraphs stating that the lands were owned by Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar temple. She raised the revenue of the temple by three times through fixation and collection of fair rents for all its properties. She organized renovation and kumbabishekam of the temple. While so, there was a resurgence of articles in Tamil dailies accusing her of offences involving idol theft. They named her and accused her of being complicit in an alleged incident of swapping of a peacock idol in Kapaleeswarar temple when she was the DC/EO of the said temple in 2004. The complaint has been lodged by one Rangarajan Narasimhan after about 14 years of the alleged occurrence only for private gains and self publicity without any authentic material or first hand knowledge or information. The manner in which the FIR has been publicized has been without any legal basis and primarily to invite public attraction towards the investigating officer and the complainant who was a busy body, she added.
She contended that there was no record of any antique peacock idol at Kapaleeswarar temple with the HR & CE department. While so, the de facto complainant without any basis other than admittedly hearsay information has claimed that an antique peacock idol was swapped. The DSP, idol wing by filing the FIR and proceeding against her without any preliminary investigation has abused police power.
There was no material to allege that any peacock idol was swapped during the 2004 kumbabishekam when she was the EO of the Temple, she added....