The Supreme Court of India, today announced that that it can’t order United Kingdom to return or not to auction Kohinoor. The decision came while disposing off a petition filed by NGO All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front and Heritage, Bengal.
The decision awarded by a bench headed by J S Kehar, the Chief Justice of India said that it could neither pass an order for reclaiming the 108 carat diamond nor stop its auction by the present owner.
The plea said: “India won independence in 1947. But successive governments at the Centre have made little or no attempt to bring back the Kohinoor diamond from United Kingdom to India, the place of its origin.”
“Whenever issues have been raised, central governments maintained on the floor of Parliament or in reply to RTI queries that Kohinoor is an Indian artefact but claims for repatriation thereof cannot be made for the same are not covered under the UNESCO Convention, 1972. The lackadaisical approach of successive governments in making positive and meaningful diplomatic parleys has not been in national interest. All attempts on the part of the petitioners and other right-thinking persons to activate the Central Government have failed,” the plea had said.
The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and SK Kaul said,”We are quite surprised that such petitions are filed for properties which are in the USA and the UK. What kind of a writ petition is this”.
The court also said that the government of India “continues to explore ways and means with the UK government on the issue” and it was “satisfied with the government’s response that it was making efforts to get the diamond back”.
The status on bringing back Kohinoor was updated by the Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma in Lok Sabha last year. He told about Ministry of External Affairs’ exploring ways to find a satisfactory resolution to this issue. The Government is facing difficulty as the incident of taking Kohinoor out of India is pre-independence and hence it doesn’t fall under the preview of Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972.
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