A 108-carat world famous diamond which features in the late Queen Mother’s crown was given to Britain – not stolen, the Indian government has said.

The Koh-i-Noor, which means Mountain of Light, has long been the subject of an ownership dispute.

The All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front, a non-governmental organisation, has filed a lawsuit seeking its return.

However, India’s Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told the country’s Supreme Court in New Delhi it was given to Queen Victoria in 1850 by a 19th-century Sikh king.

“It was given voluntarily by Ranjit Singh to the British as compensation for help in the Sikh Wars. The Koh-i-Noor is not a stolen object,” he said.

Britain annexed the Punjab – which is now split between Pakistan and India – following the wars.

Thousands queued to see the Indian Mogul cut diamond at the Great Exhibition of 1851 organised by Prince Albert.

Before Albert ordered it to be re-cut into an oval, the Koh-i-Noor had 200 facets – four times more than 99% of cut diamonds – and was intended to be worn on an armlet to catch the light.

The diamond was once in Persian hands and subsequently had been an heirloom of the Afghan monarchy, but its true origins remain a mystery.

It is believed to bring bad luck to any man who wears it and is traditionally worn by a queen.

Source: India: Koh-i-Noor Gem Given To UK, Not Stolen