Jaipur court calls JDA act illegal, tells authority to unseal gate
Terming the JDA’s action illegal and unconstitutional, additional district and sessions judge Kailash Mishra ordered the civic body, which had razed part of the structure on August 24, to restore it within a monthjaipur Updated: Sep 06, 2016 20:49 IST
A local court on Tuesday ordered unsealing of a luxury hotel and asked the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) to reconstruct the part of the structure that was demolished by the civic body.
The sealing of the former royal palace, which now houses the Rajmahal Palace Hotel, had sparked a turf war between the royal family and the BJP government in the state and angered the Rajput community which had ruled swathes of the desert state for several centuries.
Terming the JDA’s action illegal and unconstitutional, additional district and sessions judge Kailash Mishra ordered the civic body, which had razed part of the structure on August 24, to restore it within a month.
A JDA official present in court told HT on condition of anonymity that the authority will appeal against the judgment.
Narendra Singh, Diya Kumari’s husband and a member of the former royal family, said the court’s decision had established the family’s contention that the JDA action was illegal. “We have full faith in the chief minister and judiciary,” he said.
The royal family, now led by Rajmata Padmini Devi, claims that the palace is one of the properties given to them under the covenant signed during the merger of the states in 1949.
The government says it acquired the land in 1993 and was just starting the acquisition process.
After the JDA took possession of 12 bighas of land of the heritage property, Rajputs had taken out a protest rally led by Rajmata Padmini Devi, mother of BJP MLA from Sawai Madhopur Diya Kumari, and Jaipur’s titular king Padmanabh Singh, on September 1.
The former royal moved court against the JDA move, calling it “immoral” and “repressive”.
After a meeting with Padmini Devi on Saturday, chief minister Vasundhara Raje had constituted a four-member committee to address the issue. On Sunday, the Rajasthan government unsealed the gate on the panel’s recommendation.
JDA commissioner Shikhar Agarwal, who had a spat with Diya Kumari when the structure was razed, was absent from the site when enforcement officer Kishore Singh opened the gate.