The government of Tamil Nadu has appointed TS Anbu IPS as the Inspector General of Police, Idol Wing. The position was previously held by AG Pon Manickavel, whose tenure as the Madras High Court-appointed Special Officer ended on November 30.
The Home Department issued the government order appointing TS Anbu as the IG of Idol Wing on Tuesday. TS Anbu, a 2001 batch IPS officer was the IG (Administration) in Chennai prior to this.
TS Anbu has held several senior positions in Tamil Nadu police, including the Joint Commissioner of the Central Crime Branch and Deputy Commissioner, Chennai East.
The appointment comes following controversy around Pon Manickavel’s tenure, which ended on November 30. The former chief of the Idol Wing, Pon Manickavel was appointed as the Special Officer in the Idol Wing by the Madras High Court on November 30, 2018, on the day of his superannuation. His tenure was fixed for one year.
Soon after his appointment, the Tamil Nadu government challenged the HC order in the Supreme Court, stating that he was “not a fit person” to head the department. Incidentally, Pon Manickavel, who has served as the chief of the Idol Wing for six years, has made some high profile arrests of idol smugglers and even prosecuted some Idol Wing officials, suspected of connivance with political leaders and smugglers.
As his tenure came to an end, the government of Tamil Nadu had ordered Pon Manickavel to handover all the documents related to cases in the Idol Wing on November 30. However, Pon Manickavel had refused to hand over the documents to the government, stating that he was appointed by the court and hence it was ‘legally impermissible’ for the government to issue an order directing him to hand over the files. He also initiated contempt proceedings in the Madras High Court against the government officials.
On Monday, the Supreme Court stayed the contempt proceedings and upheld the government order, which directed him to hand over all case files to the Additional Director General of Police, Idol Wing.