India's government has told the country's top court it won't try to reclaim the 106-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond, which is now part of the British crown jewels.

The government told the Supreme Court on Monday that the diamond was neither taken away forcibly nor stolen, but was given as a gift to Queen Victoria by an Indian king in the mid-19th century.

The court was hearing a petition filed by a rights group asking it to direct the government to seek the return of the diamond.

For many Indians, the loss of the Koh-i-Noor is symbolic of India's subjugation and its return is viewed as compensation for the excesses of British colonial rule.

The diamond is on display in the Tower of London, set in front of the Queen Mother's crown.