The Special Investigating Team (SIT) constituted to investigate into the multi-crore idol smuggling case has assured the Madras High Court on Friday that it will not arrest industrialist Venu Srinivasan, the former president of Confederation of Indian Industry, a board member of Tata Sons and chairman of the Sundaram-Clayton group.

During the hearing on an anticipatory bail plea moved by Srinivasan to the Madras High Court bench comprising Justice R Mahadevan and Justice P D Audikesavalu, the SIT gave an undertaking that he will not be arrested for six weeks.

Srinivasan referred to a writ petition filed by an activist, Elephant Rajendran, in his anticipatory bail plea saying that he apprehended arrest in the case filed against him.

In view of the serious allegation made in the FIR registered against him, Srinivasan said he had a reasonable apprehension that he would be arrested and that was why he sought anticipatory bail.

Srinivasan said he was appointed the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Srirangam Temple, one of the ancient temples and among the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the works of the Alvars (saints), and that he had spent Rs 25 crore from his own pocket for the renovation of the entire complex.

Just painting work at Sri Kabaleeswarar Temple here cost him Rs 70 lakh, he told the court. The industrialist also claimed that a private trust funded by him and his company had undertaken the renovation of 100 temples in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

In another development, the Madras High Court had directed the idol wing of the CID of TN police to carry out a preliminary inquiry into the complaint of theft of ancient idols and artefacts worth several crores of rupees from the famous Srirangam temple and file a report within six weeks. The industrialist is connected with the board of trustees that runs the temple.