The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday rejected the petition filed by Shobhan Sarkar who had sought permission from the District Magistrate to carry out a technical survey at the site in Fatehpur where he claims gold deposits to the tune of 2,500 tonnes are buried.
Sarkar had claimed in his plea that he deposited Rs 10 lakh with the Indian Institute of Technology,Kanpur and Indian School of Mines,Dhanbad,to conduct the survey,which was initiated but later stopped on the DMs orders.
The gold,Sarkar claimed,was handed over by one of the kings of Rewa to his Guru and deposited near a Shiva temple,along the banks of Ganga in Adampur village of Fatehpur.
Rejecting the order,the Division Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Vipin Sinha said: Learned counsel for the petitioner miserably failed to prove any of his rights to claim any permission from the DM for the technical survey and field-based investigation. No case has been made out to grant any of the reliefs as claimed in the writ petition. The writ petition is dismissed.
On Sarkars claim that the Adampur Gaon Sabha had resolved on October 14 to allow excavation on condition that 20 per cent of the findings will be used for the development of the village,the court said that Section 4 of the Indian Treasure Trove Act,1878 – which the petitioner had relied upon while presenting his argument – only states that a person will inform the District Collector if any treasure valued at above Rs 10 was found.
The section does not empower either the Gaon Sabha or any other person to carry out any excavation procedure,thus reliance on it is wholly misplaced, the court said.
During the arguments,the counsel for IIT-K,Bhavya Tiwari,told the court that the institution does not have the required expertise to carry out the search,and that it is willing to return the amount submitted by the petitioner.
About the correspondence from the petitioner to authorities and institutions involved with the survey,the court said: From the materials brought on record – an e-mail sent by the Private Secretary to Minister of State,Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Food Processing Industries,New Delhi – it seems the ISM team did conduct certain surveys,but nothing could be found from these surveys.
The court,however,clarified that it was not concerned with the basis on which the ISM team went to the spot and what surveys were conducted.