In what may come as a disappointment for the Indian government which has been attempting to resuscitate India’s claim over the Kohinoor diamond, the UK government has declared yet again there is no ground for the return of the Kohinoor as India’s claim is based on weak legal grounds.
“It is the UK government's view that there aren't any legal ground for restitution of the diamond,” said Alok Sharma, Minister of Asia and Pacific Affairs, who is currently on a three-day visit to India.
Sharma’s visit to India is considered as the first high-level meeting between the two countries after Theresa May took over as the new Prime Minister in UK, following Britains’ exit from EU.
Meanwhile, it is believed that the government is considering filing a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court before August 15, in order to reclaim the Kohinoor diamond.
It is also believed that after failing to bring back the 108-carat diamond legally, the Narendra Modi-led government will now attempt to reclaim it on diplomatic grounds.
On the other hand, Alok Sharma said that his visit was aimed at improving the ties between UK and India based on greater commerce. He also said that issues like returning of artefacts may not be high on newly elected Prime Minister Theresa May’s agenda.
Lat week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma had held a 45-minute long meeting to discuss new strategies to bring back the Kohinoor.
In April this year, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that the diamond was neither stolen nor forcibly taken by the British government, but was gifted to the UK by Duleep Singh, the son of Sikh king Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Since then, the Kohinoor was mounted on Queen Victoria’s crown and is currently on display at the Tower of London .