Madurai, Nov 25: The Madras High Court today permitted the Archaeological Survey of India to shift artefacts excavated from the sites of Keezhadi in Sivaganga district to Dehradun in Uttarakhand for further research.
A division bench of the court's Madurai bench, comprising Justices S.Nagamuthu and M.V.Muralidharan, said as there was no facility for carrying out research on the artefacts at Chennai Museum, they were being taken to Uttarakhand.
The court directed the officials to take photographs of the artefacts being sent. It also directed that the research on the artefacts be completed in three months.
Earlier, the court had ordered the ASI to postpone its decision of closing down the trenches dug up for excavation works,and not to execute its plan to shift the artefacts from keezhadi to any other place outside Sivaganga district.
The matter relates to a PIL filed by a lawyer seeking a direction to prevent the ASI from reportedly taking away the artefacts to Karnataka. The court had also asked the state government to submit its detailed plan about granting lands to establish a museum to store artefacts excavated by the ASI.
The Central government submitted that a museum could be set up only after the excavation work was completed. The petitioner claimed that the site was the first 'riverbed civilisation discovery' in Tamil Nadu.