Supreme Court seeks clarity on repatriation of Kohinoor

Kohinoor diamond


Supreme Court has asked the government to clarify its stand on a PIL seeking return of Kohinoor diamond to the country.

The apex court Friday asked the Solicitor General to seek instructions in the matter within a week. It also asked the Solicitor General, how many countries are claiming Kohinoor. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said he is unaware about it and would need time to seek instructions and get back.

Supreme Court was hearing a PIL filed by All India Human Rights & Social Justice Front seeking directions to the British High Commissioner to India for return of the diamond besides several other treasures.

The PIL has made Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Culture, High Commissioners of Britain, Pakistan and Bangladesh as respondents in the case. It has also sought the return of the ring and sword of Tipu Sultan and other treasures of Tipu Sultan, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Rani of Jhansi, Nawab Mir Ahmad Ali Banda and other rulers of India.

Kohinoor, a part of the Crown Jewels is kept on display in the Tower of London. There have been several requests in the past for the return of the 105-carat diamond, as many Indians consider it intrinsically linked to the country’s culture and history.

The Lahore High Court had last week reserved orders on a petition filed by a lawyer stating that the Koh-e-Noor belongs to Pakistan. He claaimed the diamond belonged to the province of Punjab that later became Pakistan after the partition of the subcontinent in 1947.

Kohinoor, one of the largest diamonds in the world is believed to have been found in Guntur in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in the 13th century.

The stone is said to have had a tumultuous saga across several kingdoms of South Asia before being transferred to the Queen of England.