The Madras High Court on Monday directed a petitioner to approach the Tamil Nadu government on his plea for recovering two ancient golden idols which he claimed had gone missing from the famous Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur and were at present in a private museum in Gujarat. It was the duty of the state government to recover the idols if they had been taken taken away and kept in museum outside the state, a bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan said.
Holding that the matter cannot be treated as a PIL, the bench dismissed the petition filed by former minister Swaminathan of Thanjavur. The petitioner had submitted that the golden idols of 9th century AD Chola king Rajaraja Chola and his wife were installed in the temple, also known as Big Temple, built by him.
He further said these idols were available when the consecration was conducted for the temple in 1990, but after that they ‘disappeared’. Claiming that it has come to his knowledge that these idols were now kept in a museum of a private person in Gujarat, he had prayed for a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to retrieve them.