20,000-Cr Faridkot Royal Inheritance Case: SC Rules In Favour Of Maharaja’s Daughters

At stakes were moveable and immoveable assets in four states and Chandigarh.

Supreme Court
Supreme Court of India. (Image: PTI)

Chandigarh: The Supreme Court on Wednesday brought to an end a 30-year-long legal battle over the inheritance of the erstwhile Maharaja of Faridkot Harinder Singh Brar’s property. The apex court on Wednesday upheld the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and awarded the majority share in the Rs 20,000-crore property to his two daughters named Deepinder Kaur and Amrit Kaur. It also dissolved the Maharawal Khewaji Trust. It was the trust which was looking after the management of the property up until now.

Earlier, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit, Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, and Justice S Ravindra Bhat heard the arguments pertaining to the royal inheritance of Faridkot for two consecutive days in July-last and then reserved its orders.

The long-drawn battle fought by the Maharaja’s daughters Deepinder Kaur and Amrit Kaur against Maharawal Khewaji Trust is one of the longest legal tangles in the recent history of Punjab.

The Maharawal Khewaji Trust had moved the Supreme Court against the Punjab and Haryana HC orders. The High Court orders had declared Maharaja Brar’s June 1982 will as “forged” in favour of the Trust. A month after the Trust moved the top court, it declared status quo till the final judgment, which meant that the trust could continue as the caretaker of the property.

Earlier, in June 2020, the Punjab and Haryana HC had upheld a Chandigarh court’s ruling which awarded a majority share in the Rs 20,000-crore property of Brar to his two daughters — Deepinder and Amrit.

What Is At Stake?

The entire property is close to worth Rs 20,000 crore. The riches included movable and immovable assets in four states and a UT (Punjab, Delhi, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana). These include:

Rajmahal of Faridkot: It is spread over 15 acres, and was built in 1885. Now, part of the royal mansion houses a 160-bed hospital.

Faridkot House in New Delhi: It is located on Copernicus Marg and is currently leased out to the central government at the rentals of Rs 17.50 lakh per month. In 2012, it was valued at a whopping Rs 1,200 crore.

Faridkot House in Mashobra, Shimla: It was a 265-bigha estate, and had five huge mansions.

Manimajra Fort in Chandigarh: This was a 300 hundred-year-old fort and is spread over four acres.

Qila Mubarak in Faridkot: Constructed in the 18th century over an area of 10 acres the main building of the Qila was built in 1890.

Moveable Assets:

Eighteen cars: 1929-model Graham, 1929-model Rolls Royce cars, 1940 model Bentley, Jaguar, Packard, Daimler, etc.

Aerodrome, Faridkot: Used by the army and civil administration and spread over hundreds of acres.

Jewellery: Valued at more than Rs. 900 crore. 

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