Koh-i-Noor diamond: Pakistan files petition for return of 'stolen' £100m British crown jewel

'Grabbing and snatching it was a private, illegal act which is justified by no law,' says lawyer

Will Grice
Friday 04 December 2015 10:16
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The Koh-i-Noor stone in the Queen Mother's crown
The Koh-i-Noor stone in the Queen Mother's crown

A petition demanding the return of the Koh-i-Noor diamond has been filed in a Pakistan court, reports say.

The 105-carat diamond is currently a part of Britain’s crown jewels and is expected to be worth £100m.

It is believed that the diamond was taken by the British when the East India Company annexed the region of Punjab in 1849.

Javed Iqbal Jaffry, the lawyer behind the suit, told Reuters that the gem is part of Punjab heritage, and that during independence in 1947 the jewel was split between India and the newly-formed Pakistan.

Mr Jaffry has named Queen Elizabeth II as a respondent, and told Reuters: "Grabbing and snatching it was a private, illegal act which is justified by no law."

The news comes weeks after an Indian pressure group instructed lawyers to begin legal proceedings in London’s High Court.

The pressure group called the “Mountain of Light”, after the translation of the stone’s name, say that the jewel was stolen from India and that it is “one of many artefacts taken from India”.

The diamond was in the crown worn by the Queen Mother at the coronation of her husband King George VI in 1937, with Mr Jaffry claiming he wrote 786 letters to the Queen and Pakistani officials calling for its return.

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