Can descendants of the rulers of erstwhile princely states continue to use titles like ‘Maharaja’, ‘His Royal Highness’ in official documents?
Justice Gopal Krishna Vyas of the Rajasthan High Court took exception to the signatory of a deed calling himself ‘His Royal Highness, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh’, during the hearing of a land dispute.
He noted that there were lines in the petition filed by one of the lawyers which said: “A piece of land near the circuit house was sold to my client for Rs 60 lakh by Her Highness Rajdadiji Shrimati Badan Kanwar Medical Trust on May 13, 1999”.
Justice Vyas on Friday issued notices to Gaj Singh and his mother Krishna Kumari. “After the 26th amendment to the Indian constitution in 1971, Article 363(A) prohibits the use of titles like Maharaja, Maharani, His Highness, Her Highness, etc,” the notice reads. “Despite it, why does the trust have such a name?”
A spokesman for Gaj Singh refused to comment on the issue. “Since the matter is sub judice, we shall say whatever we have to in the court,” he said.
There were 554 princely states at the time of Independence.