Chennai: On Thursday the Madras High Court reserved orders on petitions Challenging a Tamil Nadu government order transferring the probe into idol theft cases to CBI as it orally observed that the decision amounted to contempt of court since a court-appointed team was investigating the matter.

Justice R Mahadevan a Special division bench comprising and Justice PD Audikesavulu, dealing with Idol theft cases, reserved the order after state Advocate General Vijay Narayan stoutly defended the August 1 G.O transferring the case to the Central Bureau Of Investigation.

On August 8 the court stayed the G.O in its interim orders on the petitions filed by advocate Elephant Rajendran and social activist Traffic Ramaswamy, seeking to quash the order transferring the case.

Last year, with a serious note, the theft of antique idols, the court had directed the transfer of all pending cases in the state to a court in Kumbakonam, in Thanjavur district, from where a number of idols had been stolen, for effective and speedy disposal on day-to-day basis.

With the transfer order of Inspector General Of Police Pon Manickavel from the idol Wing and directed him to constitute a team and constitute investigation of the cases.

On August 1, the government issued an order transferring the probe to the CBI, saying it was a policy decision.

The bench took a serious view, when the matter came y for hearing on Thursday as the high court had entrusted the investigation to the state Idol Wing CID, the government should not have transferred the cases to the CBI.

However, Mr. Narayan contended that there were enough and sufficient grounds for transferring the investigation. He further mentioned that in some cases, there were international and interstate outcome and the investigation needed the cooperation of the central government agencies such as the Customs, embassies and foreign governments. The accused might need to be extradited from foreign nations.

The bench observed that the state should had consulted the Idol wing CID and prepared a list of the cases that needed such assistance. It said, the state government was not justified in transferring all such cases to CBI.

It further mentioned that it needed more time to discuss the matter with the officials of CBI to arrive at a conclusion.

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