The Madras High Court last week rebuked the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Tamil Nadu state on account of its lack of seriousness to recover the stolen properties (temple idols and artifacts) or to book the culprits in such cases.
The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D.Audikesavalu was hearing a PIL filed by a Madras High Court lawyer, ‘Elephant’ G Rajendran seeking tracing of the missing Case Diaries and the idols and their restoration to the temples concerned.
Perusing the report jointly filed by the Additional Director General of Police and the Superintendent of Police in the Idol Wing, CID, the Court noted that 41 sets of case diaries went missing from the police stations in various districts where the complaints of theft of idols and artifacts from temples had been lodged.
The report stated that Twenty-five of the missing CDs have been traced and the Idol Wing of the Police Department was pursuing the matters and as of now, sixteen CDs are yet to be traced or recovered.
In this backdrop, the Court remarked that it was no coincidence that 41 CDs pertaining to theft of idols or artefacts from temples had gone missing and called it ‘shocking’ that 16 of the CDs have not yet been traced or recovered.
“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 Court lamented.
Further, listing the matter after four weeks, the respondent authorities were directed to be relentless in their pursuit of the stolen idols and artifacts and to treat the matters with a greater degree of seriousness than appears now. The Court further directed the CID department to recover the missing case diaries.
Lastly, observing that the Idol Wing of the CID may not receive the kind of attention that it deserves, the Court opined thus:
“…If there is an Idol Wing of the CID, some results need to be shown by such department in recovering the idols or discovering of the persons who may have been responsible for the theft of the idols and artifacts.“
Case Title- Elephant G.Rajendran V. The Secretary And 3 Others.