The Chief Justice's Bench of the Madras High Court was informed on Tuesday that a peacock idol, which went missing in 2004 from the famous Sri Kapaleeshwarar-Karpagambal Temple at Mylapore in Chennai, is believed to have been buried in the shrine tank.

A submission to this effect was made by State Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohammed Jinnah when the PIL from Rangarajan Narasimhan of Srirangam in Tiruchirappalli district came up for further hearing today.

The petition alleged that the original idol of peacock, which was offering flowers to the deity Punnaivana Nathar in its beak, was found missing after the Kumbabhishekam (consecration) was conducted in 2004.

It was replaced with another idol of a peacock carrying a snake in its beak, which was against the Agama Shastras. He prayed for a direction to the authorities concerned to trace out the original idol and install the same in front of the deity Punnaivana Nathar.

When the matter came up before the bench of Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy today, Jinnah told them the police investigation has revealed that some idols were believed to have been buried in the temple tank.

Instead of digging up the whole tank, the police have decided to obtain the assistance of Anna University to find out whether some technology is available to locate the idols said to have been buried and whether they could be retrieved without much damage to the tank, he added.

The counsel for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) told the bench that the department has decided to replace the present fake peacock idol carrying a snake in its beak, with another one carrying a flower. As per the legend, the original peacock used flowers to worship Punnaivana Nathar.

The Bench adjourned the matter by two weeks. In the meantime, efforts should be taken to trace out the original idol either from the Mylapore tank or elsewhere. If it couldn't be traced out, then a new one, as per the Agamas, could be installed, the Bench added.

With PTI inputs