New Delhi: Most would jump with joy if they unearthed any kind of treasure on their property, and such was the case for a man in Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh when he stumbled upon jewellery worth Rs 25 lakh while digging the foundations for his home. Unfortunately, his happiness was short-lived when the police decided to seize and not let him keep it.
According to Hardoi Superintendent of Police Alok Priyadarshi, the stash, which consisted of 650 gm of gold and 4.53 kg of silver ornaments, appeared to be over 100 years old, which would, of course, be of archaeological importance.
“It was seized as the person in whose possession it was found had no relevant papers,” PTI quoted Priyadarshi as saying.
The police said the man had at first denied finding the treasure but later admitted to having unearthed it.
The discovery of the treasure had come to the notice of the police when word about it spread in the village.
The rule “finders keepers” did not apply in this case as any jewellery or costly item dug out from the earth is governed by the Indian Treasure Trove Act, 1878, and under section 4 of the Act, the finder of a “treasure” is supposed to inform the district revenue officer either on his own or on receiving a notice.
The finder is also required to deposit his find either with the district revenue officials or undertake to produce it before authorities when required.
One spot of sunshine for the man, however, is section 11 of the Act, which dictates that the finder of a treasure still has a chance of owning it if authorities decide after an enquiry that it belongs to no one else.