Only in a few stray cases that some idols have been recovered, say judges
The Madras High Court on Thursday observed that the Idol Wing-Crime Investigation Department (CID) did not appear to be receiving the kind of attention that it deserves and said it cannot be a coincidence for as many as 41 Case Diaries (CDs), related to theft of ancient idols and artefacts, to have gone missing from various police stations in the State.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu expressed shock over the police having managed to reconstruct only 25 of the 41 missing CDs and the rest of the 16 cases lying in limbo. They also expressed their displeasure over a status report filed by the Idol Wing CID on steps taken by it to detect the theft cases.
“It is only in a few stray cases that some of the idols or other stolen property have been recovered, but in the majority of the cases detailed in the report, the idols do not appear to have been recovered. Only in one case there appears to have been recovery of the idols and the conviction of the accused,” the first Division Bench said.
Stating that the Idol Wing CID must be relentless in its pursuit of the stolen idols and artefacts and treat the cases with a greater degree of seriousness, the judges wrote: “If there is an Idol Wing of the CID, some results need to be shown by such department in recovering the idols or discovering the persons who may have been responsible.”
The Bench also observed that the status report does not reveal any degree of seriousness on the part of the investigating agency to recover the stolen properties or to bring the culprits to book. The interim orders were passed on a public interest litigation petition filed by activist lawyer ‘Elephant’ G. Rajendran last year.
The petitioner had complained of the missing CD files and insisted upon tracing them. Since he sought some time to peruse the latest status report filed before the court before making his submissions, the judges adjourned the case to November 18 for further hearing.
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