Centre told the Supreme Court that world’s largest-known diamond, Kohinoor, was ‘neither stolen nor forcibly taken away’ from India.
The reply comes after SC asked the government to clarify its stand on a PIL seeking return of Kohinoor diamond in the country.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the government, said the 105-karat diamond was gifted to East India Company by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
He added that this was the stand of the Culture Ministry. But, the response of the Ministry of External Affairs on this issue is yet to come.
Kohinoor, which is reportedly worth £100 million, is believed to have been mined in India nearly 800 years ago.
It was originally owned by Kakatiya dynasty and was passed down from one dynasty to another in India. But in 1849, on the orders of Marquess of Dalhousie, the British Governor-General, it was decided to present it to Queen Victoria.
It is now set in a crown belonging to the Queen’s mother and is on public display in the Tower of London.
In 2013, the British Government had rejected demands for the return of the Kohinoor. Recently, in a reply to RTI query, Centre had said that it cannot bring back Kohinoor.