Govt takes U-turn on Kohinoor, says will make all possible efforts to bring it back
New Delhi: Stressing that certain news items appearing in the press regarding the Kohinoor diamond are ‘not based on facts’, the government on Tuesday reiterated its resolve to make all possible effort to bring back the Kohinoor in an amicable manner.
In a statement, the government claimed it has not yet conveyed its views to the court "contrary to what is being misrepresented" in the media.
The government statement came a day after the Solicitor General told the Supreme Court, "Kohinoor cannot be said to have been forcibly taken or stolen as it was given by the successors of Maharaja Ranjit Singh to East India Company in 1849 as compensation for helping them in the Sikh wars."
The court was hearing a PIL which sought government action for the return of over USD 200 million Kohinoor diamond from the UK.
Wishing to put on record that the news items on the issue "are not based on facts", the official release said the government reiterates its resolve to make all possible efforts to bring back the Kohinoor Diamond in an amicable manner.
The release said the factual position is that the matter is sub-judice at present and the PIL is yet to be admitted.
"The Solicitor General of India was asked to seek the views of the government of India, which have not yet been conveyed. The Solicitor General of India informed the honourable court about the history of the diamond and gave an oral statement on the basis of the existing references made available by the ASI. Thus, it should be reaffirmed that the government of India has not yet conveyed its views to the court, contrary to what is being misrepresented," it said.
The release also noted that the court granted six weeks time on the prayer of the Solicitor General to take instructions for making his submission in the matter.
"With regard to the Kohinoor Diamond too, government of India remains hopeful for an amicable outcome whereby India gets back a valued piece of art with strong roots in our nation's history," it added.
It may be recalled that ever since he has taken over as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi's efforts led to three significant pieces of India's history coming back home.
In October 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel returned a 10th century Indian statue of Goddess Durga that was stolen in 1990 and found in 2012 at a museum in Germany.
In April 2015, then Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper returned a sculpture known as the 'Parrot Lady', which dates back to almost 900 years.
Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, on his India visit in 2014, had returned antique statues of Hindu deities that were in Australian art galleries.
With PTI Inputs