Supreme Court ends Jaipur royal family feud

  • Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2015 23:08 IST

A long legal dispute in the Jaipur royal family ended on Wednesday with the Supreme Court holding the late Gayatri Devi's grandchildren as heirs to multi-crore assets of her son Jagat Singh, who died in 1997.

The family feud had reached the top court as Gayatri Devi's stepsons and step-grandchildren challenged the will that bequeathed shares in her son's property to Devraj Singh and Lalitya Kumari - children of Jagat Singh and his estranged wife, princess Priyanandana Rangsit of Thailand.

Arbitrating the feud, a bench of Justice AR Dave and Justice AK Goel said Gayatri Devi's stepsons and step-grandchildren cannot claim their right over shares held earlier by the maharani, the third wife of Sawai Man Singh II, last ruling king of Jaipur.

The court directed rectification of company records to show Devraj and Lalitya as holders of stakes that Gayatri Devi held, allowing them right to their father's companies - Jai Mahal Hotels, Rambagh Palace Hotels, Sawai Madhopur Lodge and SMS Investment Corporation.

The late queen's share of property was estimated around Rs 1,000 crore in 2010, according to media reports.

The grandchildren, who had for long been living in Thailand, hailed the verdict. "It has taken a long time for my sister and me to get justice. We have always had faith in the Indian judicial system," Devraj said.

Jagat Singh had willed his shares to his mother on June 23, 1996, eight months before he died.

Later, Gayatri Devi executed a transfer deed and a will in the name of her grandchildren before she died on September 29, 2009.

When Devraj and Lalitya sought rectification of the shares, their step-cousins and uncles objected, saying their father's 1996 will had disinherited the duo from the property.

(With inputs from HTC Jaipur)

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