Palani idol theft: former HR&CE official surrenders

P. Dhanapal hands over passport to authorities

July 07, 2018 01:18 am | Updated 01:18 am IST

The former Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department P. Dhanapal, one of the accused in the Palani temple idol case, surrendered before the judicial magistrate court II at Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district on Friday as per a direction from the Madras High Court which had granted him anticipatory bail. Two relatives of Mr. Dhanapal deposited the surety amount.

His passport was surrendered and the place where Mr. Dhanapal would stay at Kumbakonam as directed was conveyed to the judicial magistrate court.

Conditions for bail

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, while granting bail to Mr. Dhanapal last month, imposed certain conditions, which included surrender of his passport before an appropriate jurisdictional magistrate besides directing him to stay in Kumbakonam for 60 days for inquiry from the date of his surrender.

The High Court directed Mr. Dhanapal to bear the cost of security personnel deployed. He would not have access to mobile phones.

After completing the formalities, Mr. Dhanapal moved into a lodge in Kumbakonam where he would stay for 60 days.

Idol Wing sources said Mr. Dhanapal has been named as accused number 3 in the case relating to misappropriation of gold in the making of an ‘utsavar’ idol for the Palani temple in 2004 and thereby committing criminal breach of trust. The Idol Wing police had named Muthaiah Sthapathi and former executive officer K.K. Raja as accused in the same case.

Idol Wing CID was on the lookout for Mr. Dhanapal after he failed to respond to summons. He was granted anticipatory bail last month after his earlier advance bail plea was rejected by a vacation court of the High Court Bench.

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