CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday granted anticipatory bail to State Chief Sthapathy M Muthaiah, who apprehended arrest by the Idol Wing CID following the registration of a criminal case against him. The allegation is that he swindled 5.75 kg of gold, given for making the Somaskandhar idol for Ekambaranathar Temple in Kancheepuram.
Justice R Mahadevan, who granted the relief to Muthaiah, directed him to surrender before the Judicial Magistrate-I at Kancheepuram within a week and to execute a personal bond for Rs 50,000 with two sureties each for a like sum to the satisfaction of the magistrate.
Following a submission from counsel P L Narayanan that Muthaiah would not hesitate to surrender his passport, the judge directed him to do so. Muthiah was directed to appear before the Idol Wing Inspector-General of Police Pon Manickavel every Monday and Tuesday for three weeks, and whenever required.
The FIR was registered against nine people, besides Muthaiah, temple executive officer Murugesan, sculptor Masilamani and priest Rajappa.
Earlier, claiming that his client had no role in the crime and that the CID had not produced any material evidence to prove his involvement in the case, Narayanan pleaded the court to grant Muthaiah advance bail.
The prosecution submitted that the CID is confident of gathering evidence in the case.