Kochi | The Kerala High Court today directed CBI to inform whether it was prepared to take over the probe into the disappearance of Swami Raghavendra Theertha, former deputy pontiff of Kashi Math, ‘missing’ for the last three years.
The direction was issued by Justice V Chitambaresh after Kerala Police told the court that it was willing to seek the assistance of CBI to trace the seer, a native of Kerala.
He is alleged to have decamped with ‘Salagramams’ (sacred black stones) and other relics worth about Rs 500 crore from the math in Varanasi.
The court is hearing a petition by the senior pontiff and Kashi Math Swami Sudheendra Theertha alleging inefficiency of police in tracing Swami Raghavendra who is alleged to have also taken with him precious ornaments that were being worshipped at the Kashi math for centuries.
Earlier this month, Kerala Police had informed the High Court that they conducted thorough searches in three states but Swami Raghavendra, who was involved in a dispute with Swami Sudheendra Theertha over the right to be pontiff, could not be located.
Swami Sudheendra is the spiritual leader of the Gowda Saraswat Brahmins and Swami Raghavendra was relieved of his discipleship in 2000.
The Kerala High Court had earlier directed the police to trace Swami Raghavendra and produce him before the court following a habeas corpus petition in this regard by the followers of Swami Sudheendra.
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