New Delhi: Akali Dal on Tuesday came down heavily on BJP-led NDA government for its stand in the Supreme Court on the issue of bringing back the Kohinoor diamond from Britain.
The Centre had yesterday told Supreme Court that the British East India Company did not take away the Kohinoor diamond but it was gifted to Britain by Maharaja Duleep Singh.
“How can 'Kohinoor' diamond be gifted? Does anyone give gifts to the enemy?,” news agency ANI quoted Akali Dal as saying.
The government's stand on the matter was conveyed to the bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit in response to a public interest litigation by an NGO, All India Human Rights and Social Justice Forum, seeking directions to the government to make efforts for getting the diamond back to India.
The court, while giving the government six more weeks, said that if it accepted the government position and dismissed the PIL, all future avenues for staking any legitimate claim over the diamond will be shut.
The apex court also gave the time as Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told it that the stand was that of the cultural affairs ministry but the "ministry of external affairs is also a party and their response is yet to come".
The 108-carat diamond was presented to the then British monarch, Queen Victoria, in 1850 after the Anglo-Sikh wars, in which Britain gained control over the Sikh empire in the then undivided Punjab.