Centre took a suprising stand and told the Supreme Court that UK cannot be asked to return the Kohinoor diamond as it was neither stolen nor forcibly taken by the British but was gifted by Raja Duleep Singh to East India Company.
The culture ministry has sited a 43-year-old law that does not allow it to bring back antiquities taken out of the country before independence.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 as have been illegally exported out of the country. Since the diamond 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,” the Culture Ministry said.
But the bench headed by CJI T.S Thakur said it will not dismiss the PIL which sought directions for bringing back the diamond saying it might affect any future attempts to get back other such antiquities.
By – Dhriti Sharma