CHENNAI: Disappointed by the delay on the part of the Idol Wing-CID in completing the probe, the Madras High Court re-transferred to the district police the investigation into the alleged swindling of gold and cash collected on the pretext of making a panchaloka idol for the Ekambareswarar temple in Kancheepuram.
Justice G Jayachandran passed the orders on a batch of petitions filed by Muthiah Sthapathy, a well-known sculptor, and Kavitha, an officer of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department, seeking to quash the FIR filed against them.
The judge pointed out that the case was related to a complaint of misappropriation of funds and breach of trust. Though it was taken up by a special team of the Idol Wing-CID, the investigation was not completed owing to “distorted and deviated course of investigation” even after four years.
Ordering transfer of the investigation back to the Sivakanchi police, the judge directed the police to prepare chargesheet within three months and file it before the judicial magistrate-I of Kancheepuram.The judge censured the Idol Wing-CID for “letting down” the court, which had high opinion about the wing’s impartial investigating skills.
The FIR was registered in 2017 following a complaint by Kancheepuram resident Annamalai who alleged that over 100 kg of gold and crores of rupees from the public were collected by certain officials of HR&CE for making the idols of Somaskandar and Sivagami. The Somaskandar idol, however, was cast without any gold content, he alleged.
Meanwhile, Justice Jayachandran ordered Idol Wing-CID to complete the investigation into the alleged theft of a peacock idol from the Mylapore Kapaleeswarar temple and and file a chargesheet within four months.
If it was not done so, the judge said, the FIR would stand quashed. It, however, should not be taken to mean that case of the missing peacock idol was closed. The FIR was registered in 2018 by the Idol Wing-CID.