Government tonight made a U-turn on the Kohinoor issue saying it will make all efforts to bring back the valued diamond it had said in the Supreme Court was “neither stolen nor forcibly” taken by British rulers but given to it by erstwhile rulers of Punjab.
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.