HC stays G.O. transferring idol theft cases to CBI

The Madras High Court on Tuesday stayed a Tamil Nadu government order transferring all idol theft cases in the State to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), lambasting it for its “hurried” action when the matter was already pending before the court.

A Division Bench of Justices R. Mahadevan and P.D. Audikesavalu stayed the August 1 government order transferring the cases to the CBI. It passed the interim order on a petition by advocate ‘Elephant’ Rajendran seeking quashing of the G.O.

The court issued notice to the State government and posted the matter to Wednesday for further hearing. Earlier, the Bench questioned the urgency in passing the G.O. a day after the government had informed the court that it had taken a policy decision to order the CBI probe.

On August 1, the State government informed the High Court that it had taken a policy decision to hand over all idol theft cases to the CBI as the idol wing, headed by IG Pon Manickavel, was “not performing satisfactorily.”

Bail granted

The High Court also granted conditional bail to Additional Commissioner of HR&CE Kavitha, who was arrested on suspicion of involvement in misappropriation of gold and funds collected for making two idols at the Sri Ekambareswarar temple in Kancheepuram.

Ms. Kavitha was directed to stay in Tiruchi for a month and also to appear twice a week before the Idol Wing police.

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