The Central government on Monday told the Supreme Court that India should not try to reclaim the famous Kohinoor diamond as it was neither stolen nor forcibly taken. That stand, the Supreme Court has warned, could mean “You will face a problem in the future for making any legitimate claim” to the 105-carat diamond.
The top court has been petitioned by an organization named the All India Human Rights & Social Justice Front which wants the Kohinoor and other famous antiques including the ring and sword of Tipu Sultan to be returned to India by the United Kingdom.
The Kohinoor, which means “Mountain of Light”, was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850. The government says that because Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab handed it over to the East India Company, there is no case to seek its return. However, the Foreign Ministry, which is also party to the case, has yet to outline its position. The judges have asked the Centre for a comprehensive response within six weeks.
The diamond is set in a crown which is on display in the Tower of London. In 2013, during a trip to India, UK Prime Minister David Cameron ruled out sending the diamond back to India, declaring that he does not believe in “returnism”.