The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a petition seeking a direction to the Karnataka government to stop release of royalty and honorarium to the ‘Maharaja’ of Mysuru which continues even after abolition of the Privy Purse in 1971.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur asked the petitioner PV Nanjaraja Urs to approach the Karnataka high court where a petition against the Mysore Palace (Acquisition and Transfer) Act, 1998, was pending.
Urs had petitioned the top court last month against Karnataka high court’s order that declined to look into his demand. He claims the HC rejected his petition in October without hearing him at length and without considering the fact that the Indian government had in 1971 withdrawn the special status granted to royal families.
In response to his queries made under the Right to Information (RTI) law, Urs learnt the state released `75 lakh between 2012 and 2014 as part of its “kind co-operation” for the “Dasara festival” activities. But, the state did not part with other information.
Urs has also demanded that the state take immediate possession of the golden throne and golden howda (the seat kept on the elephant’s back while riding it). In 1998 the Karnataka government had enacted the law to acquire the Mysore palace, which came into force in 1998. Urs said the artifacts legally belong to the state.
“…it is very clear and admitted that both the golden throne (Rathna Simhasana) and golden howda (Ambari) are in possession of the respondent (queen), even though they were legally acquired under the Mysore Palace Acquisition Act,” Urs mentioned in his petition. He also referred to several letters written by then Maharaja of Mysuru appealing the government to maintain the palace, which had become a “difficult task for the royalty.”