The Tamil Nadu government has been warned of dire consequences by the Madras High Court if it continues to undermine the court-monitored idol theft cases. The High Court threatened the government with declaration of ‘judicial emergency’, reports TOI.
“If required, judicial emergency will be declared by this court for the manner the state is represented in these cases,” said a special bench comprising of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice P D Audikesavalu on Wednesday (10 January).
The issue pertains to Tamil Nadu government denying office space to Pon Manickavel, a special court-appointed officer to investigate idol-theft cases, and non-cooperation of his subordinates. Manickavel had said that the office space being used by him for last six years had been locked and he wasn’t permitted into the office.
The observation was made by the bench after PH Aravindh Pandian, additional advocate-general, questioned the powers of Pon Manickavel, , to send back 80 of his junior officers to their parent departments. “He is no more in state government service. He had attained superannuation, he cannot pass such orders under service rules or CrPC,” Pandian said.
The bench asked whether the Director General of Police could exercise such powers while taking exception to the submission.
Pandian said that the tenure was fixed as per the directions given by the Supreme Court in the Prakash Singh Case and that the powers of a high court-appointed special officer cannot be equated to that of the head of the state.
Irked by the reply, the bench then observed that such ‘attitude’ of the State government, undermining court’s orders will not be tolerated, and added that suitable orders will be passed.
The court has also asked the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE) to file an affidavit on why no action has been taken against the additional commissioner of the department, N Thirumagal, who also has been named as one of the accused in the case.
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