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Kohinoor diamond not stolen, gifted to UK: India

India perhaps may never get back the $200 million Kohinoor diamond. The reason, the Government claimed that 108-karat Kohinoor diamond "was neither stolen nor forcibly taken away" but gifted to the British. The Centre made this claim in Supreme Court. It said that the diamond was handed over to the East Indian Company by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Testifying during the hearing in a petition filed by he All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front, the Government counsel said the diamond was gifted to the Eat India Company. The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to file a detailed reply within six weeks.

Kohinoor, a large diamond, originally found at Kollur Mine, in the present-day state of Andhra Pradesh. The diamond was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850 after the Anglo-Sikh wars in which Britain gained control of the Sikh empire of the Punjab. 

Currently, it is set in the front of the British Queen's crown, and is part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

On April 8, the court had asked the government to clarify its stand on the PIL filed by All India Human Rights & Social Justice Front. The petition names the ministries of external affairs and culture and the high commissioners of the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Bangladesh as parties in the case. In addition to the Kohinoor diamond, it has also sought the return of the ring and sword of Tipu Sultan, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Rani of Jhansi, Nawab Mir Ahmad Ali Banda and others.

 The court directed the centre to file a detailed reply within six weeks.