The Idol Wing-Criminal Investigation Department on Tuesday produced before the Madras High Court Bench here seven idols that were recovered by the police after they were reportedly stolen from Sri Viswanathaswamy Temple in Tirupanandhal in Thanjavur district on December 16, 1990.

Additional Public Prosecutor C. Ramesh produced the idols before Justice P.N. Prakash who was seized of a criminal appeal filed by the Idol Wing-CID, challenging the acquittal of nine individuals by a Special Court for idol theft cases in Kumbakonam on June 25, 2002.

The appeal was filed before the Principal Seat of the High Court in Chennai in 2003, and got transferred to the Madurai Bench after its inception in July 2004. It had now been posted for final hearing. Idol Wing Deputy Inspector General of Police Pon. Manickavel was present in the court on Tuesday.

After recording the current status of the idols, most of which were broken, and comparing them with the photographs shot in the temple before the theft, the judge directed the police to take them back to Icon Centre, established by the State for safeguarding such idols, in Kumbakonam.

Later, he adjourned the hearing till Thursday.

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