NEW DELHI, April 18 (IANS): The government on Monday told the Supreme Court that the East India Company did not take away the Kohinoor diamond but it was gifted to Britain by Maharaja Duleep Singh.
The government stand was conveyed to the apex court bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit in response to a public interest litigation by an NGO.
The NGO, All India Human Rights and Social Justice Forum, has sought directions to the government to make efforts for getting the diamond back to India.
The court, while giving the government six more weeks, said that if it accepted the government position, all avenues for staking claim over the diamond will be shut.
The 108-carat diamond was presented to the then British monarch, Queen Victoria, in 1850 after Britain annexed the Sikh empire in then undivided Punjab.