Idol case Division Bench decided to adjourn further hearing on the case until further orders from the apex court. by Sekar Reporter · December 7, 2019 [12/7, 07:52] Sekarreporter: Ponn Manickavel facing serious charge by Sarabhai Foundation, Idol Wing CID tells HC: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ponn-manickavel-facing-serious-charge-by-sarabhai-foundation-idol-wing-cid-tells-hc/article30224809.ece [12/7, 07:52] Sekarreporter: Former Special Officer allegedly barged into museum run by Sarabhai family The Idol Wing-Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Friday told the Madras High Court that its former Special Officer A.G. Ponn Manickavel, a retired Inspector General of Police, was facing a serious charge of having barged into a museum run by the family of Vikram Sarabhai, regarded as the father of India’s space programmes, at Ahmedabad in Gujarat and forcibly taking away two icons from there on May 29 last year. A Division Bench of Justices R. Mahadevan and P.D. Audikesavalu was told by Additional Advocate General Balaji Srinivasan that the Idol Wing CID led by Additional Director General of Police Abhay Kumar Singh, Inspector General of Police T.S. Anbu and Superintendent of Police S. Rajeswari had begun conducting an extensive review after the tenure of the court appointed Special Officer came to an end on November 31. [12/7, 07:53] Sekarreporter: During the course of review, it was found that Gira Sarabhai, the 94-year-old sister of Vikram Sarabhai, filed a petition in the High Court to quash a First Information Report registered against Sarabhai Foundation for alleged possession of ancient idols of Raja Raja Cholan and queen Nambiratiyar Logamatheviyar, which were reportedly stolen from the Brihadeeswarar Temple, a UNESCO world heritage site, in Thanjavur in the late 1960s. Though it was the case of the foundation that the icons in its possession were not the reportedly stolen idols, the Special Officer and his team forcibly took away the idols from the museum, he alleged in her petition. “Allegations made by her in that petition are very serious but so far counter affidavit has been filed by the former Special Officer to that petition,” the AAG told the Division Bench and filed a memo to that effect. ‘Misled the court’ Advocate V. Selvaraj, representing Mr. Manickavel, accused the ADGP and the AAG of having misled the court on December 2 by providing a false case number to claim that one of their petitions filed against the retired IGP before the Supreme Court had been numbered. He said such an act would clearly attract the offence of criminal contempt under Section 14 of the Contempts of Court Act of 1971. The submissions were made during the hearing of a contempt of court petition filed by Mr. Manickavel in June against the then Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, DGP T.K. Rajendran and the ADGP for alleged interference in the investigations conducted by his team. Since the Supreme court had stayed the contempt proceedings, the Division Bench decided to adjourn further hearing on the case until further orders from the apex court. Though it was argued on behalf of the former Special Officer that the contempt proceedings had no connection with a sub application filed by him, before November 31, seeking extension and a memo filed by his counsel on Thursday seeking reappointment, the judges decided not to pass any orders on the plea for reappointment until the Supreme Court takes a call on related issues. It was brought to the notice of the court that the State government too had filed a contempt of court petition before the apex court against Mr. Manickavel for refusing to hand over all case diaries related to idol theft cases and it was scheduled to be heard on Monday.