After 56 years, the government has got custody of 56.86 kg of gold that was to be used to weigh then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in the wake of the 1965 India-Pakistan war. The gold valued at Rs4.76 lakh at the time, is now valued at Rs27.29 crore.
The decision was given by the district and sessions court in Udaipur which ruled the gold was the property of the government. The court dismissed a writ that challenged handing over the gold to the government.
The writ has been filed by Goverdhan Singh. Dismissing the writ, the court upheld a 2007 decision of the Rajasthan High Court in the matter.
Ganpatlal Anjana, Goverdhan’s father had given the gold to Chittorgarh district collector in 1965 to be used to weigh Shastri. However Shastri died in Tashkent in January 1966 and the gold could not be used. It had been in custody of the Chittorgarh collector. The case has been heard 5 times in 56 years and each time the decision went in favour of the government.
The court said the gold, currently in the treasury of the Udaipur collectorate, would be handed over to the assistant commissioner of Central Goods and Services Tax in Chittorgarh.
The controversy over ownership of the gold dates back to December 9, 1965, when Gunvant filed a case against Ganpatlal Anjana and three others saying they had not returned the gold to him.
On December 16, 1965, Ganpatlal had given the gold to the Chittorgarh collector. However after Shastri’s demise in Tashkent, his tour did not materialise and the gold was seized by police and handed over to the collector.
In 1969, a challan was presented in the assistant district and sessions court in Udaipur and the gold was brought from Chittorgarh and kept in the Udaipur collectorate treasury. On Jan 11, 1975, a case was filed.