Court can’t order Britain to return Kohinoor: Supreme Court
New Delhi, April 21: The Supreme Court of India said today that the India’s apex judiciary cannot monitor any diplomatic efforts by the government to reclaim the famed Kohinoor diamond from Britain.
In saying this, the Supreme Court’s 3-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar also dismissed two petitions on the issue, calling them “frivolous.”
The apex court said it accepts the Central Government’s submission that it is exploring ways to bring back the Kohinoor diamond from the United Kingdom (UK). Disposing of a plea seeking a direction to the Central Government to ensure that the Kohinoor diamond is brought back, the apex court said it cannot pass a direction with regard to auctioning off a property which is outside India.
“Diplomatic measures cannot be under any supervision and can a court in India pass any order asking any country to return something? And all the more at a time when the government in its counter affidavit says they are taking steps to bring it back,” Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar-led bench asked lawyers for the petitioners in two Public Interest Litigations (PILs).
The Central Government’s affidavit clearly says though it is not possible to make them return the Kohinoor diamond, but will continue to explore it. They say it is not possible but through diplomatic channels, it may be possible. What kind of petitions are you filing? Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar asked.
The Central Government in its affidavit said Kohinoor diamond is India’s property but international conventions, as well as the laws, restrain it from making a rightful claim for its return from Britain.