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Monday, December 09, 2019

Retd officer probing stolen idol cases refuses to hand over records as term ends

The government had on Friday issued an order to Manickavel to hand over the records of all cases being probed under him. Manickavel “shall hand over all the records/details pertaining to cases and work done by him and by the special investigation team.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Published: December 1, 2019 4:18:42 am
Once a close aide of V K Sasikala, a friend of late J Jayalalithaa, Manickavel had shot to fame with raids seizing idols from high-profile businessmen and art collectors.

Retired IPS officer Ponn Manickavel, who was heading the Idol Wing CID as a court-appointed special officer, has refused to hand over all records and details pertaining to idol theft cases to Additional DGP Abhay Kumar Singh even after his one-year tenure ended on Saturday.

The government had on Friday issued an order to Manickavel to hand over the records of all cases being probed under him. Manickavel “shall hand over all the records/details pertaining to cases and work done by him and by the special investigation team to Abhay Kumar Singh, ADGP, Idol Wing CID, on November 30, as his tenure is expiring on November 30,” stated an order issued by Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi.

However, Manickavel on Saturday replied that his appointment was made by the High Court and that the constitution of the special investigation team was confirmed by the Supreme Court, and that it is “legally impermissible” for him to hand over the records of the SIT and the officers to an ADGP.

Once a close aide of V K Sasikala, a friend of late J Jayalalithaa, Manickavel had shot to fame with raids seizing idols from high-profile businessmen and art collectors. While the ouster of Sasikala and her family from the ruling AIADMK dented his influence in the police force, Manickavel’s functioning was questioned by the state over his refusal in cooperating with superiors in review meetings. He had earlier told the court that his superiors were trying to obtain sensitive information when the court was also monitoring the probe.

Manickavel was not available for comment.

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