The Delhi High Court has sought from the National Museum a status report elaborating on the steps taken by it for preservation of articles and manuscripts.
The Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar took note of the submission that the Museum has not implemented the recommendations made by the 'Expert Committee on Physical Verification of Art Objects of National Museum',
The Court was further informed that another order passed by it in April this year is not being adhered to. This order had directed the Museum to file quarterly reports on the digitization of artifacts.
Taking note of such submissions, the Bench now directed, " The respondents shall place before us a status report setting out the steps taken to ensure compliance with the recommendations of the Expert Committee as well as the order dated 21st April, 2017 passed by this court. Such report shall be filed within four weeks from today."
The Petition has been directed to be listed on 30 January, 2018.
The Petitioner, Mr. R.S. Atal had approached the High Court in 2013, seeking a direction for digitization and computerization of all art objects at the Museum. Being an ex-employee of the museum, Mr. Atal has alleged that the institution preserves the art objects in an extremely shabby manner.
"The National Museum is the custodian of Indian antiquities collected for over hundreds of year from different parts of the country. Its protection and preservation is the prime duty of the National Museum and hence their security is very very important in national interest.
However, these art objects are preserved in a very shabby manner with no proper system of their preservation, because of which many objects have either been replaced, stolen or destroyed," the Petition was quoted as saying.