The Government on Monday told the Supreme Court that India should not stake a claim to the famed Kohinoor diamond as 'it was neither stolen nor forcibly taken away.'
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the government, said this was the stand of the Ministry of Culture. "Ministry of External Affairs is also a party and their response is yet to come," he informed the court, according to ANI.
He also told the court that the Kohinoor was handed over by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to the East India Company. Today the diamond is a part of the Crown of Queen Elizabeth II.
Chief Justice TS Thakur asked the Centre if it wants the case to be dismissed as they would face a problem in the future when putting forward any legitimate claim. The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to file a detailed reply within six weeks.
The court had on 9 April asked the Centre to disclose its stand on bringing back the diamond.
SC had made this observation while hearing a petition filed by the All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front. The petition had said that the government was not making efforts to bring the diamond back.
In 2013, the British Government had rejected demands for the return of the Kohinoor.
One of the world’s largest diamonds, some Indians - including independence leader Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson - have demanded its return to atone for Britain’s colonial past.
(With agency inputs)
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