The Union Ministry of Culture has told the Supreme Court that the Kohinoor diamond was neither stolen nor forcibly taken away by the British from India.
Solicitor General Ranjit Sinha, who was representing the Centre in a case regarding the Kohinoor diamond, has informed the apex court that the diamond was handed over to the East India Company by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), which is also a party in the case, is yet to respond.
The Chief Justice of India has warned the Centre that the government will find it difficult to make any legitimate claim to the diamond if the case is dismissed in court. The court has asked the Centre to submit a detailed response in six weeks.
On the other hand, BJP leader Mahesh Sharma has said that pre-independence matters come under Indian Government and not Ministry of Culture.
It is the Indian Government who looks after the matters that are related to incidents prior to independence. Ministry of Culture has no say in it.Mahesh Sharma, Member of Legislative Assembly, Gautam Buddha Nagar
The Kohinoor is a large, colourless, diamond that was unearthed near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh around the 13th century. The diamond was the crowning jewel of the peacock throne of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.
However, when the Persian invader Nadir Shah invaded India, he took the peacock throne and the Kohinoor along with it. When Shah was murdered one his generals took possession of the diamond who, then handed it over to Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab. After his death, the British won the Anglo-Sikh war and the East India company took the Kohinoor in their possession.
The company presented it to Queen Victoria, the monarch of the United Kingdom whose family has held the jewel since then.