In a reply to RTI query, Centre has said that it cannot bring back Kohinoor according to the 43-year-old law.
Under the provisions of the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972, the Archaeological Survey of India takes up the issue of retrieval of only such antiquities which have been illegally exported out of the country.
The law doesn’t allow to bring back antiquities taken out of the country before Independence.
The Culture Ministry in a reply to RTI filed by PTI, said:
“Since the object referred by you [Kohinoor] has been taken out of the country prior to the Independence, the Archaeological Survey of India is not in a position to process the matter.”
Earlier on April 8, Supreme Court has asked the government to clarify its stand on a PIL seeking the return of Kohinoor to the country.
The world’s largest-know diamond, 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.
Last year in November, a lobby group comprising of Bollywood actors and businessmen had united to start legal proceedings to get back Kohinoor diamond to India.