Idol theft probe: Madras HC re-appoints Pon Manickavel as special officer

Chennai | Updated on November 30, 2018 Published on November 30, 2018

The Madras High Court on Friday appointed Pon Manickavel, Inspector General of Police, probing idol theft cases in Tamil Nadu, as a special officer for a period of one year to conduct the probe. This order was given on the day of his retirement.

The order by a special division Bench of Justices R Mahadevan and PD Audikeasavlu puts to an end to speculation over continuance of Manickavel following his aggressiveness in unearthing large number of idol thefts. He and his team had also been carrying out searches on top industrialists related to the thefts.

Speaking to newspersons after the Court’s verdict, Manickavel said he would finish the probe within a year and submit the report in a sealed cover to the Court.

The Bench also quashed the State government’s order issued on August 1 of transferring all pending and future idol theft cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation from the idol wing CID. This was based on a PIL filed by Advocate Elephant G Rajendran challenging the transfer.

In a related development, the Tamil Nadu government appointed Abhay Kumar Singh as Manickavel’s successor. Singh is at present Chief Vigilance Officer of Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Paper Ltd and was previously Inspector General and Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic).

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Published on November 30, 2018
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