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Kohinoor was not stolen. India should stop laying claim to it, NDA tells SC

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:51 IST

On 18 April, the NDA government clarified to the Supreme court that India does not have a legitimate claim to the Kohinoor diamond - on the grounds that contrary to popular belief, the diamond was not acquired forcibly or stolen.

Appearing for the government, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told the apex court that the Kohinoor diamond was handed over by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to the East India Company.

He said this was the stand of the Culture Ministry. "Ministry of External Affairs is also a party and their response is yet to come," he informed the court.

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.

On 9 April, the apex court asked the Centre to disclose its stand on bringing back the diamond.

The apex court made this observation while hearing a petition filed by All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front.

The petition had said that the government was not making efforts to bring the diamond back. The Solicitor General said that he would seek an instruction from the government and then inform the court.

The diamond was, by force, made to be presented to Queen Victoria in 1850, by the Marquess of Dalhousie, the British governor-general of Punjab.

The people have been demanding the return of the 105-carat stone for years. In 2013, the British government rejected demands for the return of the Kohinoor.


First published: 18 April 2016, 5:25 IST