Millennium Post

Former royals get Rs 20,000 cr relief from court

It is a royal bonanza for two daughters of a former maharaja. This is one they’ve had to wait for over two decades. A court here has declared a 32-year-old will ‘forged and illegal’ and granted inheritance of properties and assets worth a whopping Rs 20,000 crore ($4.4 billion) to the two daughters of the erstwhile Maharaja of Faridkot, Harinder Singh Brar.

The properties and assets include the palatial Faridkot House on New Delhi’s Copernicus Marg, a royal palace complex and a fort in Faridkot, a fort in Mani Majra area of Chandigarh, vintage cars (including a Rolls Royce), an aerodrome in Faridkot spread over 200 acres, properties in Hyderabad and Delhi, gold and jewellery worth nearly Rs.1,000 crore with Standard Chartered Bank in Mumbai and more. Real estate experts and accountants put the total worth of the properties and assets at over Rs.20,000 crore. The Mani Majra fort, which is over 350 years old, is not in a very good condition. The erstwhile ruler was allowed to keep these properties after the country’s independence in August 1947.

The legal battle for the assets started in 1992 after the ex-maharaja’s daughter Amrit Kaur filed a case in a court here. Following a 21-year-old legal battle, the court of the chief judicial magistrate Rajnish Kumar, ordered on Thursday that the 1981 will, purportedly drawn up by the maharaja, was ‘forged and fabricated’.

With the court judgment, Amrit Kaur and her Kolkata-based sister Deepinder Kaur will inherit the properties and assets of the erstwhile ruler. Their third sister, Maheepinder Kaur, who was not married, died under mysterious circumstances in Shimla in 2001.

Brar had three daughters and a son, Harmohinder Singh, who died in a road accident in 1981. Following this, Brar went into depression. In her suit, Amrit Kaur, who lives in Sector 10 here, alleged that the will was forged by officials and servants of the ex-ruler at a time when he was in depression.
The will, gave all his properties and assets to the Meharwal Khewaji Trust.


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