The special division bench comprising Justice R Mahadevan and Justice P D Audikesavalu, before whom the plea came up for hearing, expressed its strong displeasure over the State government passing a GO in a hurry without adhering to due procedures.
The bench’s observation came about after Assistant Solicitor General G Karthikeyan, appearing for the Centre, submitted that the Union government had not received any files pertaining to idol theft and the need to transfer it to the CBI.
However, the ASG submitted that there was no change in CBI’s stand of not taking up the theft cases.
During the hearing, the bench was informed about the suspension of additional commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department M Kavitha, who was arrested by the Idol Wing police on July 31. Kavita was arrested in connection with the alleged misappropriation in making a gold idol of Lord Somaskandar for the ancient Ekambaranathar temple in Kancheepuram district.
Advocate ‘Elephant’ G Rajendran, who had assailed the GO transferring the pending and future temple idol theft cases to CBI leading to the court passing an interim stay on August 7, had also sought Kavita’s suspension to enable a free and fair probe.
When it was pointed out by Rajendran that the suspension has come nearly three months since her arrest in July, the bench remarked that the government could pass an order in just an hour if it suited it but take over three months if it was otherwise.
However, with the government pleader telling the court that all documents pertaining to the theft would be sent to the Centre immediately, the bench adjourned the case to October 25 for further hearing.