New Delhi: Supreme Court on Tuesday brought the curtains down on a decade-old PIL seeking protection of historical objects in various museums, saying the government has promised to ensure security and take all other necessary steps to prevent theft.
The apex court noted that "it may not be necessary to give any specific direction at this stage" when there has been assurance from the government that "the concern of the petitioner is genuine and there is every need to review the security measures and to update the inventory."
"They (Ministry of Culture) assured the Court that the concern will be addressed and necessary steps in the matter will be taken," a bench comprising Justices T S Thakur and A K Goel said.
"There is no reason to doubt the stand of the Central Government and other respondents that all necessary steps will be taken and reviewed from time to time. This Court expects that the Secretary, Ministry of Culture, will review the matter and take such necessary steps as may be identified within one month from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
"Thereafter, review meetings may be held at least once in every six months to consider further course of action. If any grievance survives, it will be open to any aggrieved person to take legal remedies in accordance with law," the bench said adding that "With the above observations, the writ petition is disposed of".
The apex court disposed of the PIL filed in 2004 by Kolkata-based chartered accountant Subhash Dutta seeking direction for adequate security arrangements, proper probe into the incidents of theft and damage to several historical objects and also for making an inventory of available articles for future.
The apex court noted that immediate trigger for the petitioner appeared to be the theft of historical artefacts of Kabiguru Rabindra Nath Tagore, kept in museum of Viswabharati University at Santiniketan in West Bengal of which the Prime Minister is the Chancellor.