Relief for TVS Motor Chairman Venu Srinivasan in idol theft case

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TVS Motor Chairman Venu Srinivasan. Photo: Bloomberg

TVS Motor Chairman Venu Srinivasan. Photo: Bloomberg

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Police’s Idol Wing on Friday gave an undertaking to the Madras High Court that it would not arrest TVS Motor Company Chairman Venu Srinivasan for a period of six weeks, in connection with an idol theft case. The matter came up for hearing before a Division Bench, comprising Justices R Mahadevan and P D Audikesavulu.

Before senior counsel B Kumar could to start his arguments on behalf of Srinivasan, personnel of the Idol Wing’s Special Investigation Team, who were in court, gave the undertaking. After recording the undertaking, the Bench posted the matter for hearing after six weeks. Srinivasan had moved court on Thursday seeking anticipatory bail in connection with an idol theft case. In his bail application, Srinivasan cited a writ plea filed by advocate ‘Elephant’ G Rajendran, which referred to the FIR against him. The TVS Motor chairman said he understood that an FIR was registered by the Mylapore police and it was later transferred to the CB-CID Idol Wing.

The FIR against the industrialist was due to alleged replacement of an antique peacock idol with a new one at the Sri Kapaleeswarar temple and was registered following a complaint from a devotee, Rangarajan Narasimhan. 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 Kapaleeswarar temple. 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, he said. Srinivasan claimed that beyond this, he had no other connection with the temple except that he was also a devotee of Lord Kapaleeswarar (Shiva).

He also claimed that as the chairman of the board of trustees of Ranganathaswamy Temple at Tiruchirappalli, he spent nearly Rs 25 crore for its renovation in 2015. A trust funded by him and his company had undertaken renovation work of over 100 temples in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Srinivasan said. In view of the allegations and the FIR against him, Srinivasan had sought anticipatory bail.

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