Police gave undertaking not to arrest TVS Chairman

Police gave undertaking not to arrest TVS Chairman

Tamil Nadu Police's Idol Wing on Friday gave an undertaking to the Madras High Court that it would not arrest TVS Motor Company's Chairman Venu Srinivasan, for a period of six weeks in connection with an idol theft case. Picture courtesy Twitter

The Tamil Nadu Police's Idol Wing on Friday gave an undertaking to the Madras High Court that it will not arrest TVS Group chairman Venu Srinivasan for six weeks in connection with a case relating to alleged theft of idols from Kabaleeswarar Temple in Chennai.

Srinivasan, who has spent huge amounts of money in his personal capacity in renovating temples in Tamil Nadu, had moved the high court late on Thursday evening seeking anticipatory bail in connection with the FIR that alleges that he replaced an antique peacock idol with a new one at the famous temple in Mylapore.

Asserting that he was innocent, Srinivasan submitted before the court that he had spent around Rs 70 lakh in 2004 from his personal fund for painting and flooring work at Sri Kabaleeswara temple.

As Srinivasan's plea came up before the bench of Justices R Mahadevan and P D Audikesavulu, which is hearing cases regarding idol theft, personnel of the Idol Wing's Special Investigation Team gave an oral undertaking that they will not arrest the industrialist for six weeks.

After recording the undertaking, the bench posted the matter for hearing after six weeks.

The issue also kicked up a political storm with MDMK chief Vaiko demanding the immediate withdrawal of the FIR against Srinivasan. “Dragging such upright persons with unquestionable integrity into idol theft cases should be avoided. Srinivasan has donated several crores of rupees from his own money for development and up-gradation of temples,” Vaiko said.

In his petition, Srinivasan said though he was appointed a member of the government-constituted Temple Renovation Committee that year, officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department oversaw the renovation work.

“Beyond this, I have no other connection with the temple except that I am also a devotee of Lord Kabaleeswarar,” Srinivasan stated in the petition.

Srinivasan also mentioned that as the chairman of the board of trustees of Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam in Tiruchirappalli, he spent nearly Rs 25 crore for its renovation in 2015.

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