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TAMIL NADU Thieves may take advantage of police being busy with lockdown, says Court Legal CorrespondentCHENNAI, APRIL 22, 2020 15:30 ISTUPDATED: APRIL 22, 2020 15:38 IST The Madras High Court denied bail to a habitual offender, on the grounds that it would not be safe in the current situation The Madras High Court has refused to grant bail to a thief on the grounds that letting him out of him prison at this juncture would only encourage him to indulge in similar offences especially when the police are busy enforcing the lockdown to fight COVID-19. Justice R. Subramanian said: “The petitioner has been remanded to judicial custody in the present case. A perusal of the First Information Report (FIR) shows that the petitioner has as many as 11 previous cases against him and all are of similar nature. “It appears that the petitioner is an habitual offender and I do not think it will be safe to enlarge him on bail in the current situation as there is every possibility of him restarting his profession of theft particularly when the attention of the police is engaged in enforcing the lockdown. Hence, this bail petition is dismissed for the present.” The judge took the decision after Additional Public Prosecutor S. Karthikeyan informed the court that the petitioner Bramma Moorthy had been accused of trespassing into a locked house and decamping with a car and a gold ring. The incident had occurred at the residence of a widow from Sri Andavar Nagar of Vattamalai within the Komarapalayam police station limits in Namakkal district on March 23. The car and the gold ring, kept in a locker inside the house, belonged to the widow’s son who was then hospitalised. Though the widow had lodged a complaint against unknown individuals for the break-in, the police on investigation found the petitioner to have been involved in the offence. He was booked under Sections 380 (theft in dwelling house), 454 (house breaking), 457 (lurking house trespass by night) of Indian Penal Code. They also informed the court that the petitioner was a habitual offender involved in similar cases.