The Madras High Court on Friday has quashed the order by the state government transferring all idol-wing cases to the CBI and appointed Pon Manickavel, who was to retire the same day, as a special officer for one year to conduct the probe.
The judgment was passed by a special division bench of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice P.D. Audikeasavlu. The reputed officer was to retire today after the bench passed the order retaining him as the head of the Idol Wing of Tamil Nadu Police.
Earlier in the Court, Pon Manickavel had claimed that the state government was trying to ‘fix him’. He had told the Court, “They were conducting some probe behind my back and trying to fix me in some sort of allegation.”
The state government and Pon Manickavel have been at loggerheads with each other for a while. The government had tried to transfer all cases of the idol wing to the CBI citing the IG’s ‘unsatisfactory performance’. The CBI has already stated that they cannot investigate the cases due to a shortage of manpower. The Court recently directed the Center to file its reply on the Tamil Nadu state government’s proposal to have the idol theft cases probed by the CBI.
We have previously published a comprehensive report on the accomplishments of Pon Manickavel. Known for his no-nonsense attitude and emphasis on discipline, the recovery of two 1000-year old idols of Rajaraja Chola and his wife, Lokamadevi, remain the crowning jewel of Pon Manickavel’s illustrious career.