HC orders issue of notice to Union and State govts

Chennai,Jan13(PTI) The Madras High Court today orderedissue of notice to the Union and State governments and bankauthorities returnable in three weeks on a plea to notifyjewels belonging to the Pudukottai Royal Family.

The First Bench of Madras High Court, comprising ChiefJustice M.Y.Eqbal and Justice T.S.Sivagnanam, was hearing aPIL filed by filed by S.Thanushkodi, a property genealogist.

The petitioner said after independence and merger ofPudukkotai Princely State with Union of India, the thenGovernment of Madras issued an order in 1948 declaring certainjewels as private property.

As per Rules of Indian State(Abolition of Privileges) Actenacted in 1972,the petitioner contended that the jewelsshould be kept in permanent custody of the Indian government.

In spite of him making several representations since 2001to acquire and notify them in accordance with law no stepshave been takenr by authorities, he charged.

He suspected that a member of the royal family had removedsome valuable historically important jewels in the custody ofSBI,Trichirapalli Cantonment branch, and sold them.He alsosuspected that the jewels in the Bank''s custody wereduplicate.

"The jewels are antique in nature,expose the heritage andthe culture of the nation and as such are of nationalimportance," the petitioner said.

He sought a direction to the Union Government to notifythe jewels under the Antiquity Jewels and Treasuries Act andRules of Indian State (Abolition of Privileges)Act 1972.PTICORBN01132213

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