The Supreme Court on Monday declined to interfere in the digging exercise by the Archaeological Survey of India in search of gold underneath a dilapidated fort at Daundia Khera village in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.

A Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi told petitioner advocate Manohar Lal Sharma that it would not be possible for the court to interfere at this stage.

The CJI told Mr. Sharma: “We can’t expect that the State government or the other authorities will not have any responsibility and take care of it.”

When counsel insisted that there must be court-monitored protection to the digging operation with CCTV cameras to ensure that property was not looted, the CJI said the authorities would take care of it. The Bench however, adjourned the matter by four weeks.

The petitioner said he had approached the court to appoint a monitoring team for the entire excavation and to direct the Centre, the ASI and the State government to depute military officers to supervise the excavation.