The Tamil Nadu government today opposed an anticipatory bail plea of the chief ‘sthapathi’ of its Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department, M Muthaiah, in a gold theft case from a temple in Kancheepuram. The public prosecutor opposed the bail plea of Muthaiah. Muthaih had moved a petition apprehending arrest by the Idol Wing CID police in the case related to ‘hiving off’ 5.75 kg of gold from the idol of Lord Somaskandar at the Lord Ekambaranathar Temple. The idol wing had recently registered an FIR against nine persons, including the temple executive officer Murugesan, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) department ‘chief sthapathi’ (temple architect) Muthaiah, sculptor Masilamani and priest Rajappa. Muthaiah moved the court for anticipatory bail contending that he had no role in the heist and police had not produced any material evidence against him.
When the petition came up for hearing, Justice R Mahadevan asked the prosecution why they were opposing the bail plea as there was no incriminating evidence against the petitioner. The prosecutor submitted that the CID police was confident of gathering evidence to prove the involvement of Muthaiah in the case. The statements obtained by the police under section 161 of the CrPC has evidences to prove prima facie case against the petitioner, he said. Recording the submission, Justice Mahadevan adjourned the matter to January 31. When the petitioner’s counsel raised apprehension that his client might be arrested before that, the judge said the court has orally instructed the CID police not to detain him till the petition was disposed of.