Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman handed over confiscated ancient and medieval period Antiquities/ Coins to Union Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & Culture Prahlad Singh Patel, in a ceremony held at North Block in New Delhi yesterday.
Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur, Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CBIC Chairman M. Ajit Kumar, Members of the Board, Senior Officers of Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India were present on the occasion.
The 40,282 confiscated coins belong to the Sultanate and Mughal era from the period 1206 to 1720 AD, Princely states such as Kushana, Yaudheya, Guptas, Pratihar, Cholas, Rajputs, Mughals, Marathas, Kashmir and also British India, French and certain Australian coins from the period 1800-1900 AD. The confiscated items also cover 18 antique seal/stamp/religious emblem to be worn by the person having authority by Ruler to execute the Royal orders and 1 Silver Kamarband (waist band) to be worn by Royal/affluent family women.
The case was booked on June 21, 1994 at Delhi Airport when Customs intercepted two foreign nationals who were travelling to Hong Kong and seized a part of these antique coins, copper stamps/seals, silver kamarband (waistband) and other antiquities from them. In the follow up search, the remaining gold coins and articles were seized from a house in the city.
After the completion of due process of law, Indian Customs requested Archaeological Survey of India to ascertain the value of these confiscated antiquities/articles and a committee was formed for valuing these items. The committee submitted its report in January/June 2020 and the value of 40,301 antique items was ascertained at Rs. 63.90 crore. Further, in terms of Para 17.9 of the Disposal Manual, 2019 issued by CBIC these confiscated items are being handed over to Archaeological Survey of India by the Department.