August 10, 2018
The Madras High Court Friday granted temporary reprieve to industrialist Venu Srinivasan in the multi-crore idol theft case now under investigation. The SIT gave an undertaking to the court that it will not arrest the industrialist for six months.
Venu Srinivasan, former President of CII and TVS chairman, had moved the Madras High Court for an anticipatory bail as he feared arrest in the idol theft case.
The Madras High Court bench comprising Mr Justice R Mahadevan and Mr Justice P D Audikesavalu took up the case for hearing during the course of which the SIT said they will not arrest the industrialist for six weeks.
Srinivasan referred to a writ petition filed by an activist and a police complaint against him to argue that he apprehended arrest and needed anticipatory bail.
Srinivasan said he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Srirangam Temple, one of the ancient temples and among the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the works of the Alvars (saints). He said that he had spent his own money, Rs 25 crore, to renovate the entire temple complex. Painting work at Sri Kabaleeswarar Temple cost him Rs 70 lakh, he told the court citing the spate of such work done by him at several temples. He said that a private trust funded by him and his company renovated 100 temples in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
In another development, the Madras High Court on Thursday asked the idol wing of TN police to conduct preliminary inquiry into complaint of theft of ancient idols and artefacts worth several crores of rupees from the famous Srirangam temple.
It directed the police to file a report within six weeks.