PATNA: The Patna high court on Friday ordered the central and the state governments to submitted counter-affidavits within a week to clarify that why of record registers of antiquities across 12 museums in Bihar were not being maintained properly.
The bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, while hearing a PIL filed by Vikash Chandra alias Guddu Baba, over the issue for the first time, also expressed its annoyance over the callous behaviour of the officials for not maintaining the record register or technically known as accession register of antiquities.
The petitioner, in his PIL, had annexed a report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India published on February 2, 2015, in which it categorically highlighted poor maintenance of accession registers in museums across Bihar.
The report said altogether 9570 antiquities were entered in accession register of Patna museum out of which 2031 antiquities had no date of accession, 772 antiquities had no date of provenance, 1213 antiquities had no date of donation, 2496 antiquities had no date of receipt and 7597 antiquities had no information about placement.
The report had also cited fear of theft or loss of precious antiquities due to lack of proper record maintenance and under such condition, a particular stolen or lost antique could not be traced easily.
The office of auditor general of Bihar, in a counter-affidavit, submitted before the court on Friday, also accepted that some of the museums provided copies of accession registers in which there were incomplete report about antiquities while some museums were yet to submit their records before AG office.
In the counter affidavit, the AG office also mentioned that the Directorate of Museum in the state did not have a comprehensive policy for management of antiquities. The matter would come up hearing again after four weeks.