Lawyer moves Madras high court to enhance punishment

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CITYIdol theft cases: Lawyer moves Madras high court to enhance punishment
Sureshkumar | TNN | Dec 17, 2019, 15:18 IST






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(Representative image)
CHENNAI: An advocate has approached the Madras high court seeking to enhance punishment in antique idol theft cases from three years to at least 14 years.

The maximum punishment provided under the Antiquities Act is only three years while the market value of any such stolen antique items would exceed Rs 1 crore. The quantum of punishment should be made appropriate to the value of the idol stolen, S Sridharan said.

When the plea came up for hearing, assistant solicitor general G Karthikeyan accepted notice on behalf of the central government and sought time to get instructions as to whether any proposal is mooted to incorporate appropriate amendment for effective dealing of idol theft cases.
Recording the same, a division bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha posted the plea to February 5, 2020 for further hearing.
According to the petitioner, though Archaeological Survey of India is the competent authority to take criminal actions in cases of idol theft, the department lacks adequate manpower to depute officials across Tamil Nadu to initiate appropriate action in thousands of idol theft cases.
Stressing the need for amending the Act, the petitioner contended that it should be amended so as to permit a police officer not below the cadre of inspector to visit places where such antiques are seized and register criminal cases.
The petitioner also cited a letter written by the former special officer of idol wing Pon Manickavel to the government in support of his plea. In the communication, Manickavel highlighted the need to amend the Act to ensure stricter action against idol thieves.
Though a representation was made to the authorities on October 14, no action had been taken, the petitioner said.
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CITYTwo TN men try to extort money from businessman posing as CBI officers, arrested
Karal Marx | TNN | Dec 17, 2019, 13:44 IST






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The arrested men have been identified as R Matheen (right) of Viruthampet and Hariharan of Kalinjur.
VELLORE: The Viruthampet police in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu arrested two men who tried to extort money from a businessman by posing as CBI officers on Monday night.


The arrested men have been identified as R Matheen, 43, of Viruthampet and Hariharan, 27, of Kalinjur. Police said the two had extorting money from small-time businessmen for more than four years.
On Monday night, the duo wore khaki dresses and intercepted businessman Kiruba, 48, of Viruthampet while he was driving a car. They showed him fakeidentity cards and claimed that they were CBI officers.
Kiruba, who managed to escape from the duo, alerted the Viruthampet police.
The police registered a case and arrested them. They have been remanded in judicial custody.
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