Can't pass orders to search missing articles in museums: Supreme Court 

The Supreme Court today said it cannot pass general orders for search and probe into missing articles or artefacts of museums across the country.

Published: 21st August 2017 06:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2017 06:08 PM   |  A+A-

Court Hammer

For representational purposes

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today said it cannot pass general orders for search and probe into missing articles or artefacts of museums across the country.

A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud made the observation while disposing of a habeas corpus petition filed by a relative of whistle-blower Sunil Kumar Upadhayay, a preservation officer of Kolkata's Indian Museum, who has been missing for over three years now.

"How can general directions be passed to search for or to investigate the missing articles in all the museums across the country? You (petitioner) are right-minded person. File a specific case," the bench said.

The top court passed the order after going through the report filed by the Special Investigation Team dated May 25, 2015.

It granted liberty to the petitioner to move a proper plea for revival of the petition if any lead regarding the whereabouts of the whistleblower came to light in future.

The apex court was hearing a habeas corpus petition (a plea filed to secure the presence of missing persons) filed by a cousin of 35-year-old Sunil Kumar Upadhyay, the preservation officer, seeking a direction for CBI probe in the matter.

The petition, filed by Ghaziabad resident Krishan Mohan Upadhyay, said Sunil was a whistleblower who had exposed alleged irregularities in the management of the Indian Museum.

It had been alleged that the officer has been missing since July 3, 2014, after he mentioned the alleged irregularities.

The petition had raised several other issues including the security of museums across the country.

"In Indian Museum, out of 29 galleries, 14 were not covered under CCTV surveillance. Even the installed cameras were operational only during working hours. Thus there was no surveillance during night," the petitioner, referring to a CAG report, had said.

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