New Delhi: As per the Central Government, the country may not get its Kohinoor diamond back, considering the Forty- Three- Years Old law which is not allowing the getting back of any antiquities which were taken out of the country earlier to the independence of India.
The Archaeological Survey of India which has taken up the issue under the provisions which are contemplated under the law- Antiquities and Art Treasure Act of 1972 for the recovery of only such antiquities as have been illegally exported out of the territories of the country. Actually there was an application under the Right to information law.
Replying the said communication, the Culture Ministry said that the that the Archaeological Survey of India is “not in a position to process the matter”, since the object (Kohinoor) “has been taken out of the country prior to the independence”.
It was seen that the said communication was addressed to the Ministry of the External Affairs where the details were sought as to steps being taken for the bringing back of the Kohinoor along with a copy of a letter written to and the response received from the United Kingdom in that connection.
Moreover, as per the Ministry of the External Affairs, the said matter is being dealt with by the Ministry of Culture, as it is connected with the “return of cultural artefacts”. As such, the said application under RTI law was transferred by the Ministry of External Affairs to the Ministry of Culture.
Notably, responding to the said application, the Ministry of Culture also found stated that “there is no list available with the Archaeological Survey of India about the items in Britain’s custody”.
Moreover, the said RTI’s reply assumed the significance, and a day before yesterday, the honourable Supreme Court of India on Friday asked the Government to clarify the issue, as there was a Public Interest Litigation brought up with the claim to get the Kohinoor back in the country.
The court’s bench comprising of Chief Justice of India- T. S. Thakur, while directing the said reply to be submitted by the Government, also questioned that, “everybody is claiming Kohinoor”, and pointed the Solicitor General- Ranjit Kumar and said “do you know about it?.”
The said petition was preferred by the All India Human Rights & Social Justice Front, and the directions against the High Commissioner of United Kingdom on the issue of returning back of the Kohinoor Diamond is claimed therein.