HC seeks RBI views on silver bricks

Cuttack: State High Court has issued notices to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) soliciting its views on a petition seeking to auction all the 522 silver bricks, worth over Rs 80 crore, retrieved from a mutt in Puri last year.

Justice M M Das on Monday issued notices to RBI and fixed the next date of hearing of the case on April 30. The notice followed a petition filed by the Emar Mutt pleading the High Court to direct the RBI to auction sale the silver bricks and to keep the proceeds with the RBI until their ownership was decided. The petition argued that the riches were now kept idle in police armory without any return.

Police had retrieved the silver bricks from the Emar Mutt premises last year and the High Court had directed police to keep the valuables in the safe custody of its armory dismissing separate suggestions of two groups of the Mutt management committee.

While one group wanted the silver bricks be kept in the account of Mutt after pledgeing those to the State Endowment Commissioner, another advocated auctioning of the bricks and the proceeds be kept as fixed deposit in a nationalized bank.