SC refuses to interfere in ASI treasure dig

SC refuses to interfere in ASI treasure dig

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere in the ongoing excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for hidden treasure in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, kept advocate M L Sharma's petition pending.

Sharma claimed that there was no monitoring of the dig, which had been undertaken following reports of a seer dreaming of 1,000 tonnes of gold buried underneath a fort in Unnao.

The court reminded the petitioner about the latest news report in which the ASI has said it is not carrying out the excavation on merely the dream of some seer but on the basis of scientific examinations by the Geological Survey of India.

The petitioner then raised the issue of protection of the precious objects that could be dug up during the excavation. “The question is of security. The treasure could be gold or silver or some other material. Even prominent TV channel crew members have been driven away,” he contended.

The court was, however, not convinced. “At what stage do you think the court can interfere? Can we interfere in every sensational matter? Are the governments not aware of the Constitution,” the bench asked him.

Sharma asked the court to issue directions to install CCTV cameras to keep a tab on the dig. “If 1,000 tonnes of gold are found, everybody would be happy,” the court remarked, while refusing to pass any order.

Sensing the court’s disinclination, Sharma pleaded that his petition be kept pending.

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