Chennai: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has informed the Madras high court that it has so far completed inspection of 630 objects (idols/antiquities) produced by the idol wing CID, Tiruchy.
Assistant solicitor general G. Karthikeyan submitted a copy of the communication from M. Nambirajan, Regional Director (South), ASI before justice R. Mahadevan when the memo filed by idol wing CID for determination of the antiquities, came up for hearing on Thursday.
In his communication, Nambirajan submitted that in compliance to the orders of this court, the ASI has so far completed inspection of 630 objects produced by idol wing CID, Tiruchy. 404 objects from Icon Centre, Panthanallur, 25 objects from Mariamman Temple, Punnainallur, 41 objects from Big Temple, Thanjavur and 160 objects from Icon Centre, Thiruvarur were so far inspected. Report of 185 objects submitted and the rest were under preparation. Out of list of 326 objects so far submitted before the committee on October 21, 2018, he added.
Pointing out that in its order, the court has directed the ASI to complete the task on or before October 24, he said examination of bronze include in-depth physical examination that include observation of stylistic features, ornamentation, patination, inscription (if any), comparison with old available records, discussion among the experts and scientific analysis. Due to enormity of the task and the availability of subject experts, who are being brought in from Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram etc., for being part of the committee, sufficient time may be requested for completion of the task, he added in his communication.
The judge posted after two weeks, further hearing of the case.Meanwhile, a petition has been filed in the Madras high court to direct the state government to extend the tenure of IG Pon Manickavel, IPS, as head of the Special Team constituted by the high court for idol theft cases beyond the date of his retirement on November 3, 2018.
Claiming to be an ardent believer and visitor of Hindu Temples in the state, one S. Sridharan of T. Nagar filed the petition stating that the retirement of Pon Manickavel would seriously affect the ongoing investigation and prosecution of idol theft cases. Without Pon Manickavel, as head, the team would lose its momentum and direction. The team without Pon Manickavel would not be able to face the onslaught of corrupt officials, smugglers and thieves and would eventually disintegrate. All investigation and prosecution would come to an abrupt halt, he added.
Orally indicating that it is a fit case for imposing cost, the judge posted to November 1, further hearing of the case....