Saturday , September 25 2021

Court gives away 56 kg gold meant to weigh former PM Shashtri to CGST-Chittorgarh

Udaipur : A Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) court in Udaipur, on Wednesday,  ordered to give away 56.863 grams of gold to the custody of CGST-Chittorgah, that was raised by public contribution 55 years ago to weigh (tuladaan) the erstwhile Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri on his proposed visit to the Chittorgarh sometime around December 1965. The market value of the gold presently is estimated around 31 crore rupees.  The gold was deposited in the safe custody of Chittorgarh district administration before the prime minister’s proposed visit , however, the event could not be held due to Shashtri’s sudden demise. The gold stock had been in dispute since and came for judicial considerations before different Udaipur courts and Rajasthan High Court in past 51 years. 

The Swarna Tuladaan was proposed  by one Ganpat Lal Anjana, a resident of Gomana in Chhoti Sadri of Chittorgarh who raised the gold through crowd funding and later deposited the metal under the Gold Bond scheme of the Gold Control Act. Shashtri died in Tashkent in January 1966 and on February 26th, Ganpatlal put up an application before the Chittorgarh collector claiming back his gold since the event was cancelled. Meanwhile one Gunwant from Gomana registered a criminal case against Ganpatlal and few others alleging misappropriation of the precious metal which was seized by the police under the criminal case proceedings. 

 An Additional Assistant Session Judge court in its decision in January 1975, held Ganpatlal and his aides guilty and the gold was ordered to be given away to the Gold Control Officer. The accused men appealed before the Additional Session court which released them in August 1978. Meanwhile, the men went for criminal appeal and revision before the High Court which maintained the subordinate courts’ decision on the metal to be given in custody of  the Gold Control Officer. 

After Ganpat’s death, his son and legal heir Goverdhan Anjana claimed the gold custody while the Assistant Commissioner, CGST-Chittorgarh too, moved an application for the custody of the disputed gold. Assistant Attorney General Sangeet Purohit, attorney Kinshuk Jain and Pravin Khandelwal represented the CGST while advocate Bhanwar Singh Rao represented Anjana. Deciding on both the petitions and discarding Anjana’s claims, the court ordered in favour of the government department. The CJM ordered the officer-in-charge of the Maalkhana , double lock in Udaipur to give the gold to CGST- Chittorgarh (Division G) for rightful use in the interest of the state. 

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