Centre has said that 43-years-old law is not allowing to bring back antiquities which are taken out of the country before independence. According to the provisions of the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972, the Archaeological Survey considers the issue of retrieval of only such antiquities which have been illegally exported out of the country, it said. As the Kohinoor has been taken out of the country prior to the Independence, the Archaeological Survey of India is not in a position to process, the Culture Ministry said in reply to an RTI query filed by PTI.  The application was filed with External Affairs Ministry trying details of steps to be taken for return of Kohinoor along with a copy of a letter written to United Kingdom and also response received from the UK in this regard. 

The apex court was hearing Pacific International Lines (PIL), filed by All India Human Rights & Social Justice Front seeking directions to the High Commissioner of United Kingdom for return of the diamond besides several other treasures. The PIL has made Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Culture, High Commissioners of the UK, Pakistan and Bangladesh as parties to the case. It has also sought return of the 'ring and sword' of Tipu Sultan and other treasures of Tipu Sultan, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Rani Jhansi, Nawab Mir Ahmad Ali Banda and other rulers of India.

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