Rajasthan royals close ranks to protect estate

Leading members of the erstwhile royal family of Jaipur closed ranks on Sunday and put off the reading out of former Rajmata of Jaipur Gayatri Devi’s will.

Sources close to the family indicated this was done to buy time to sort out internal differences and prevent the state government from laying its hands on any of her properties.

The government has shown interest in acquiring some of Gayatri Devi’s immovable properties in Jaipur, especially her French-style mansion Lilypool and the Sawai Man Singh School named after her late husband.

At stake are Gayatri Devi’s assets estimated to be worth Rs 2,150 crore, including jewellery costing Rs 300 crore. The major beneficiaries are expected to be her grandchildren Devraj Singh and Lalitya Kumari.

Gayatri Devi’s will was to be made public on completion of the 12-day mourning period on Sunday.

Various members of the family are already embroiled in seven property-related cases pending before the Supreme Court.

In this context, the presence of UN Bachawat, the Supreme Court-appointed administrator-cum-receiver of the disputed properties, at the ceremony to mark the end of mourning sparked speculation that the family is keen to resolve all pending disputes before the will is read out.


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Obituary: Gayatri Devi

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