Even as the Archaeological Survey of India began digging in search of gold coins under the Daundiya Kheda fort temple in Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court on Friday indicated that it would consider hearing a public interest petition for a court-monitored operation to protect the property. A Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi told advocate-petitioner Manohar Lal Sharma that his plea would be listed for hearing after defects were cured. Mr. Sharma sought urgent hearing, expressing an apprehension that politicians would loot the treasure.

Mr. Sharma said Swami Shobhan Sarkar, priest of 180-year-old temple, approached Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industry Charan Das Mahant, through a Kanpur Pandit, and told him about King Rao Ram Baksh Singh telling him in his dream to recover the gold treasure. The Minister, who visited the area on September 22 and October 7, convinced ASI and Geological Survey of India teams to inspect the place. A team of experts visited the area on October 12 and put two holes in the area and confirmed that gold was lying buried underneath. Mr. Sharma said the Centre, the ASI and the State government should depute military officers to supervise the excavation.