HC Closes PIL On Theft Of Aurangzeb-Era Copy Of Quran 

SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday closed a Public Interest Litigation, seeking protection of monuments and artifacts as well as directions to the authorities to trace Aurangzeb-era copy of the Holy Quran, stolen from SPS Museum here in 2003. 

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Gita Mittal closed the PIL amid the Central Bureau of Investigation’s report before a competent court, closing the case regarding the theft of Quran “untraced.”  

While closing the PIL, the court directed the authorities to provide adequate care towards security and safety of artifacts and monuments in the state.

So far as investigation into theft of copy of the Holy Quran from the SPS museum, the CBI counsel informed the court that investigations into FIR (No.106/2003) regarding the theft of the ‘Quran Sharief’ were inconclusive and it has filed a closure report before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar.  

In one of the previous hearing, the court was informed by the India’s premier investigation that the copy of the Quran may be with National Archives of India New Delhi.

“During investigation, it came to light that a holy book namely ‘Quran Sharief’ with similar features was confiscated by the Crime Branch of New Delhi. Accordingly, the authorities of National Archives of India, New Delhi, were approached and relevant information about the said seized ‘Quran Sharief’ including its photographs have been collected,” the CBI had informed the court.

 “Efforts towards its comparison with the available description of Holy Quran, alleged to have been stolen from SPS museum, is underway. The report vide which the ‘Quran’ presently kept in National Archives of India had been declared as an antiquity has also been collected from Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi and the same is under examination for the said purpose,” the report had said.

The CBI had also informed that it was also scrutinizing the file pertaining to FIR (106/2003 in police station Rajbagh Srinagar which has collected from the Crime Branch Srinagar. 

Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal Emperor, ruled over most of the Indian subcontinent during his reign, which lasted for 49 years from 1658 until his death in 1707.

The judicial intervention has already led to retrieval of 31 copper and silver coins besides one-gun bearing accession number 412 along with other artifacts from Research Wing of the SPS libraries, which were gifted to Shimla Museum in 1973.

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