Deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal has asked the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to file a caveat in the Supreme Court before it passes a judgment on a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding the return of the Kohinoor to India.
The SGPC would represent the Sikh community and demand that the diamond, which is presently a part of the crown jewels of England, be returned to the religious body, Sukhbir said in a statement here.
“This assertion is being made on the basis that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the head of the Khalsa Raj that had possessed the Kohinoor. In the absence of any such system now, the diamond belongs to the SGPC,” he said.
He said an Akali delegation would meet external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to make a representation on behalf of the Sikh community to highlight “the wrong version” given to the apex court earlier. “The SAD delegation will tell Swaraj that Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Sikh sovereign ruler of Punjab, was robbed of the Kohinoor, and the SAD feels this aspect has not been put before the apex court,” he added.
The SAD would present the facts to the external affairs ministry detailing how Maharaja Duleep Singh was forced to present the Kohinoor to Queen Victoria after being Christianised,” he said.
“There is no doubt that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the absolute owner of the Kohinoor and that after its death it was taken away by the British in a deceitful manner. The SAD feels that this wrong can only be corrected by the return of the diamond to the Sikh community,” Sukhbir added.