After a brief hiatus of about two months, a Division Bench of Justices R. Mahadevan and P.D. Audikesavalu of the Madras High Court on Friday recommenced hearing on a contempt of court petition filed by Idol Wing CID Special Officer A.G. Ponn Manickavel in June this year, accusing an unnamed “senior minister” and top officials in the police department of sneaking into investigations conducted by him.
The hearing began with a bang as activist-advocate ‘Elephant’ G. Rajendran, on whose writ petition the court had appointed Mr. Manickavel as a Special Officer after his retirement from police service on November 30 last year, insisted that the former Inspector General of Police should reveal the names of all ministers who were attempting to save idol theft accused by interfering in the investigations.
Those ministers should be made to step down from the Cabinet forthwith, the advocate said. “I have been complaining about involvement of some ministers in idol theft cases right from the beginning. I have filed affidavits to that effect in this court and also in the Supreme Court. Now my assertion has been proved through the affidavit filed by the special officer in support of the contempt petition,” he told the court.
However, when the judges pointed out that the Special Officer had not named any minister in the affidavit, advocate V. Selvaraj, representing Mr. Manickavel, said, there was a mention in one of the reports filed before the court in a sealed cover during the hearing of another idol theft case. Stating that no sealed cover was available before the court as of now, the judges said, they would ask the Registry to locate it.
Earlier, Mr. Selvaraj claimed that the government had transferred out most of the police officials in Mr. Manickavel’s team and had created an artificial internal mutiny too. He also alleged direct interference in the special officer’s investigations by officials in the rank of Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) and above. He said, action was being taken on the basis of complaints sent by fictitious persons against the special officer and his team.
It was further alleged that a woman Superintendent of Police had been posted in the Idol Wing CID without any sort of requistion from the Special Officer and that she was openly siding with the higher officials who had deputed her.
Accusing the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of not cooperating with the investigations, Mr. Selvaraj said, the financial assistance provided by the State for giving special monetary awards to informers was being “appropriated” by the ADGP. After hearing him, the court adjourned the case to Tuesday for the appearance of Additional Advocate General Balaji Srinivasan from the Supreme Court.
Article source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/reveal-names-of-those-sabotaging-probe-advocate-urges-manickavel/article29926340.ece