According to litigant, the retirement of Inspector General AG Ponn Manickavel would affect the ongoing investigation of idol theft cases.

Madras HC criticises plea to extend Idol Wing IGs tenure
news Law Friday, October 26, 2018 - 08:49

The Madras High Court, on Thursday, slammed a litigant who had filed a plea seeking extension of service to the Idol Wing Inspector General AG Ponn Manickavel. He is due to retire on November 3. The plea, according to reports, was filed by S Sridharan, who claimed to be an ardent follower of Hinduism and stated that Ponn Manickavel’s retirement would affect the ongoing investigation of idol theft cases. 

The litigant had also said that without the IG, the team would not be able to tackle the corrupt officials and smugglers and that it would gradually disintegrate. IG Ponn Manickavel had recently headed the raids at the residences of businesswoman Kiran Rao and Prakriti Foundation founder Ranvir Shah for missing idols.

Dismissing the plea, a special division bench comprising Justices R Mahadevan and PD Audikesavulu asked what locus standi the petitioner had, to file such a plea. The bench stated, “You cannot use this court as a weapon to push your vested interests and no one has any right to interfere in the administration of the government.”

“Who are you? How can you file such a case? Don’t poke your nose into administrative matters and don’t use court as a weapon for improper claims,” asked the court.

The bench also asked if the petitioner knew of the government’s plans and if the tenure will be extended. 

The petitioner was also rapped for naming Elephant G Rajendran as one of the respondents to his petition. “On what basis has he been arrayed as a respondent? Is he a public servant or a government body?” asked the judges. Elephant G Rajendran was a petitioner in many of the idol theft cases in the Madras High Court.

Posting the case for hearing on November 1, the judges said that it would pass orders on the day and that the case would be dismissed with exemplary costs of Rs 1 lakh. 

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