A court in Rajasthan has made the government the owner of 56 kg of gold that was meant to weigh late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri around 56 years ago after the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. The current value of the gold is estimated to be around Rs 27.69 crore.
The gold, after weighing the former PM, was supposed to be donated to the National Defence Fund. However, the ceremony could not be held because of the sudden demise of PM Shastri at Tashkent where he had gone for a peace summit with Pakistan.
A district and sessions court of Chittorgarh through an order said that the 56.86 kg of gold which is currently lying in the custody of the Udaipur collector should be handed over to the Rajasthan government as it is now the property of the state government.
The court ordered that the gold should be handed over to the Central Goods and Service Tax assistant commissioner, who in turn will deliver the same to the state government. The gold was worth Rs 4.76 lakh in the year 1965, but now it is worth Rs 27.69 crore at the current market rate.
History of the gold meant for weighing Lal Bahadur Shastri
This gold has a long history and it belonged to a family of Chhoti Sadri in Chittorgarh. The gold, which belonged to a rich business family, was given to one Ganpat Lal for safe custody after it was found in an old haveli of the business family of Gunwant Lal. Later, when Gunwant Lal demanded the gold back from Ganpat Lal, he returned only part of the gold. Gunwant lodged an FIR against Ganpat Lal on December 9, 1965.
After an FIR was lodged against him, Ganpat Lal deposited the gold which was lying with him to the collector of Udaipur with a request that late Prime Minister Shastri should be weighed with the gold during his visit to Udaipur. The gold then should be deposited for the National Defence Fund (NFD). But since Shatri passed away on December 11, 1966 in Tashkent where he had gone for the Indo-Pak summit following 1965 war, the gold remained in the custody of the Udaipur collector.
After that Ganpat Lal, another person Heera Lal and Gunwant were involved in a long-drawn legal battle over the ownership of the gold. After a long period of 56 years, the chief judicial magistrate in 2020 ordered that the gold should be delivered to the Central Goods & Service Tax commissioner as the gold was found as a treasure trove and it belong to the government.
Govardhan Lal after the death of his father Gunwant Lal pursued the case as the inheritor in the sessions court. The sessions court gave a verdict against him. It ordered that the gold should be given to the state government through the Central Goods & Service Tax commissioner.
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