Himachal HC orders CBI probe into 2010 antique theft

Shimla, Oct 7 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh High Court has ordered a CBI probe into the theft of an antique bell from the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS) here in 2010.

The bell, weighing around 30 kg, was gifted by the royal family of Nepal in 1903 to Lord Curzon, the then viceroy of India.

In the seven-page order, provided to the media on Wednesday, the division bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar Thakur observed that police “appears not to acquire any dynamism, lacks initiative as well as is bereft of any innovation”.

Allowing the writ petition of the IIAS, the judges said: “It’s fit and appropriate that the CBI which are possessed with all wherewithal as well as manpower to spread throughout the country to launch a nationwide hunt to locate the stolen property as well as the culprits.”

The antique bell has both aesthetic as well as carried antique value, said the judges.

Police had filed a closure report in the trial court on the stolen property being untraced. On the plea of the petitioner, the court ordered re-investigation.

The IIAS later moved the high court, alleging unsatisfactory besides tardy investigation by police.

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