The Act is to be called as “The Indian Treasure-Trove Act, 1878″ and was enacted on 13th February, 1878. Act extends to India but except to those boundaries which are formed after 1st November, 1956 in part B of states. For purpose of act, “treasure means anything of any value hidden in soil or in anything affixed”.
Whoever at any time find any such treasure which is more than ten rupees he should immediately inform government in written regarding such treasure is found and has to mention near by vale of that treasure and exact location where it is found and person who found it can submit such treasure to nearest government office or to collector. After this collector may publish notice to all claimants in relation to treasure found and would mention its near value, location where it was found and ask all claimants to appear on given date in collectors office, and if there is any claimant then he has to collect either before four months or he can collect it after six months this period of claim starts after the publication is made, collector will even with special writing give notice to that person who lastly hold treasure.
After publication collector will inspect that, what was location where treasure was found, who was person who found it, even if possible who and for what purpose or reason treasure was concealed. Collector while inspecting finds that and has such ground to believe that person who came to claim has concealed such treasure one hundred years back, from date of its finding, collector then order to adjourn the hearing till such period that claimant file suit in civil court for his right. But, if collector is of opinion that there is ground to believe in person who came for claim and in such manner his claim is rejected by collector and that treasure is declared to be owner-less, but if claimant is not satisfied with the order then he can seek appeal within two months from order passed to Chief Controller Revenue authority, and any decision made by such authority will be final and binding.
After declaring it owner-less collector further would give that treasure to person who found it, or, would divide in two parts that will be to person who found it and person on whose place treasure is located. If in case no person in whose place treasure is located does not come in front and claim and wholly treasure is handed over to person to found it and if treasure is not in dispute then its share has to be given to said party. But if there is any dispute especially in relation with place (where treasure was located) then collector may stop order still he takes such dispute to civil court.
Collector before dividing or giving back treasure may on behalf of government ask owner of treasure whether they can keep treasure or its any portion and in regards to this collector will deposit money as it is treasure or portion of it and after such agreement such treasure or portion of such treasure will be considered as governments property in further.
There shall be no proceeding or suit would lie against collector if his act done is in good faith and conscience. In all of this if finder of treasure do not provide any notice to collector with intention to hide it then such treasure will be considered as government property and his entitle money which was bound to get will also not provide to him rather he will be put in front of Magistrate and shall be punished with imprisonment for term of one year, fine or both. In such manner if owner of place where treasure was found is found committing any offence then his share gone to government and taken before Magistrate and is punished with imprisonment up to six months, fine or both.
by Samata. H. Joshi.