After UK’s declaration that India has no legal ground to seek repatriation of ‘Kohinoor’, advocate Nafis Siddiqui, petitioner in the case, has decided to approach UN against Britain’s view on the matter.
“New application will be filled in the Supreme Court to send the advocated commissioner to Britain and request the British government to return the property of India and to get a stay on the selling or auctioning of the diamond. We will get it back, if not, we will appeal through the UNESCO or through UNO,” Siddiqui said.
“The international law and UNESCO is supporting us. We will bring our property which is there in the Victoria Library, Albert Museum and the Kohinoor Diamond which is embedded in the Queen's crown,” Siddiqui added.
Siddiqui also appealed the Ministry of External Affairs to “try their best to bring the property of India back”.
“They should not show leniency on such issue considering any diplomatic or politics aspects,” he said.
Kohinoor, meaning mountain of light, is a large, colourless diamond that was found in southern India in early 14th century.
Yesterday, the UK government in the Supreme Court declared that there “was 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,” saiAlok Sharma, Minister of Asia and Pacific Affairs, who is currently on a three-day visit to India, said.
Earlier in April, the government had made a submission in the Supreme Court that Kohinoor was neither "forcibly taken nor stolen" by the British, but given as a "gift" to the East India Company by the rulers of Punjab.
Bringing back of the diamond faces legal and technical hurdles as it dates back to pre-Independence period and thus did not fall under the purview of Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972.
“How can they say that they gifted our national asset?” Siddiqui asked.
According to the UNESCO declaration of 1970 and 1978, it was mentioned to return everything that has been looted from the colonial ruled country. France, America and even Australia did so but Britain failed to abide by it.