Idol theft case relief for TVS Motor boss

Cops give no-arrest undertaking

By PTI and our bureau in Chennai
  • Published 11.08.18
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Venu Srinivasan

Chennai: Tamil Nadu police on Friday gave an undertaking to Madras High Court that it would not arrest TVS Motor Company's chairman Venu Srinivasan, for six weeks in connection with an idol theft case.

Srinivasan had moved the court on Thursday seeking anticipatory bail after an FIR was filed on the alleged replacement of an antique peacock idol with a new one at the Sri Kapaleeswarar (Lord Shiva) temple here.

The complaint that led to the FIR was filed by a devotee, Rangarajan Narasimhan. In his bail application, Srinivasan cited a writ plea filed by advocate "Elephant" G. Rajendran which refers to the FIR.

The Chennai-based TVS Motor Company is the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India, with a revenue of Rs 15,129 crore in 2017-18. The company has an annual production capacity of 4 million two-wheelers and 120,000 three-wheelers.

On Friday, the idol wing of the police gave the no-arrest undertaking to a division bench, of Justices R. Mahadevan and P.D. Audikesavulu, constituted to hear such cases.

Before senior counsel B. Kumar could start his arguments on behalf of Srinivasan, officers of the idol wing's special investigation team gave the undertaking. After recording the undertaking, the bench posted the matter for hearing after six weeks.

In his application, the TVS Motor chairman said he understood that an FIR was registered by Mylapore police and it was later transferred to the idol wing of the police.

Asserting that he was innocent, Srinivasan submitted before the court that he had spent around Rs 70 lakh in 2004 from his personal fund for painting and flooring the temple.

Although he was appointed a member of the government-constituted temple renovation committee that year, officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department oversaw the renovation, he said.

Srinivasan said that beyond this, he had no connection with the temple except that he is also a devotee of Lord Kapaleeswarar.

He added that as the chairman of the board of trustees of Ranganathaswamy Temple at Tiruchirappalli, he spent nearly Rs 25 crore for its renovation in 2015.

A trust funded by him and his company had renovated over 100 temples in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Srinivasan submitted.

In view of the serious allegations and the FIR against him, Srinivasan said he sought anticipatory bail.