New Delhi, Oct. 18: If any evil eye is being cast on a potential treasure trove lying buried in Uttar Pradesh, be warned that the highest court of the land may be keeping a gimlet eye out.
“Let the matter be listed before the concerned bench, then we will deal with it. But you must ensure that the petition filed by you is numbered with the registry,” the bench of Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi told petitioner Manohar Lal Sharma today.
Sharma, a Supreme Court lawyer, has filed a public interest litigation seeking a court-appointed committee to oversee an official excavation in search of buried gold at Daudiya Kheda, a village in Unnao district.
The gold hunt formally started today after a sadhu wrote to the Prime Minister, President and the Archaeological Survey of India seeking the excavation on the strength of a dream he had had.
Sharma has expressed the fear that politicians and others could be tempted to steal the gold, which he claims could be worth $5,000 billion.
Initially, the Supreme Court, which has more than 66,600 cases to hear, was reluctant to entertain Sharma’s plea when he mentioned the matter before the bench around 10.40am.
“Why should we take (it) up? Does it mean that there is no state government functioning there?” the bench asked.
Sharma argued that the matter involved the national interest and national assets and that it would be prudent to appoint a panel to monitor the excavation.
The court then said that if the petition were found to be in order, it would consider taking the matter up next week.
“That total value of 1,000 tonnes of gold is around $5,000 billion while the actual value of the deposits is thousand fold. After the recovery of the said treasures, India would never need any foreign funding in any field. The Indian economy will be one of the strongest and there will be no loan burden upon India, subject to the proper handling and safety of the said reserves,” the petition said.
It is not clear how Sharma reached the figure. At today’s market price and exchange rate, 1,000 tonnes of gold — he purported amount buried —would be valued at $51 billion (about Rs 3.1 lakh crore).
The sadhu, Swami Shobhan Sarkar, had claimed that a 19th-century king had appeared to him in a dream and asked him to hand over to the government a cache of gold he had buried under his fort.