Two government officials have been booked for trying to sell a 269-year-old Persian manuscript of the Koran, a violation of the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act.
Ajay Sharma, assistant treasury officer in the Rajasthan government, and Govardhan Singh Bhati, a sports officer with Northern Railways face imprisonment of up to three years if found guilty. The AAT Act specifies that any document "of scientific, historic, literary or aesthetic value" more than 75 years old has to be registered, and cannot be bought or sold.
Police recovered the manuscript in Ajmer from Sharma's car after being tipped off by an informer that he was trying to sell it for Rs 1.25 crore. S. Sengathir, Ajmer Superintendent of Police, said, "Sharma could not explain how he came to acquire the manuscript. Nor was it registered."