New Delhi, Feb. 11: The Supreme Court today sought to know from the central government the status of the CBI probe into the theft of Rabindranath Tagores Nobel prize medallion.
The apex courts query came during the course of a hearing on a PIL, filed by activist Subhas Datta, which sought to upgrade security at all museums in the country to avoid a repeat of such thefts.
The Bengal government had handed over the case to the CBI in March 2004. But the investigative agency decided to wind up the probe for lack of leads on September 2, 2007.
All-out efforts were made. but no fruitful results could be achieved, the CBI wrote to the Santiniketan authorities in a letter.
The investigation was wrapped up but would be reopened in the future if any positive clues were found, the agency said.
When Datta pointed this out to the court, a two-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhan and Dalveer Bhandari sought to know the status of the probe.
The court directed the registrar to find out the status of the probe and file a report.
The loss of the medallion, awarded to Tagore in 1913, was detected on March 25, 2004. Since then, it has been replaced with a bronze replica issued by the Nobel foundation at Visva-Bharatis request.
The two replicas, one in gold and one in bronze, arrived in Santiniketan on May 7, 2005. The court also asked the Centre to enumerate steps taken to protect museums.
The Centre was asked to file an affidavit on what it proposed to do on security and physical inventory of artifacts.
The Supreme Court today upheld a Kerala High Court judgment that had quashed a panchayat order to cancel the licence of soft drinks major Pepsis bottling plant at Kanjikode in Palakkad district.
We are not inclined to interfere with the judgment of the high court, a bench of Justices Arijit Passayat and P. Sathasivam ruled.
The state had appealed to the apex court against the high court verdict, which had held that under the state panchayati raj laws, panchayats had no jurisdiction to issue, renew or cancel licences.