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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Faridkot Maharaja's daughters inherit assets worth Rs. 20,000 cr

PTI  Chandigarh, July 28, 2013
First Published: 21:49 IST(28/7/2013) | Last Updated: 22:07 IST(28/7/2013)

After over a two-decade-long wait, two daughters of the erstwhile Maharaja of Faridkot are set to inherit assets worth a staggering Rs. 20,000 crore that include Faridkot House in Delhi's posh Central Vista, two forts, vintage cars and jewellery.

The ex-royals struck the fortune after a local court ruled that Faridkot's former ruler Sir Harinder Singh Brar's 31-year-old will was "fictitious" and "forged" by servants in connivance with lawyers and others.

Brar's eldest daughter Amrit Kaur had challenged the will in 1992 which had entitled a trust as the caretaker of the estates and assets including the Faridkot House at Copernicus Marg near India Gate, palace amd Manimajra Fort in Faridkot in Punjab, properties in Mashobra, Shimla, besides bank deposits, jewellery and vintage cars including a Rolls Royce.

The assets of the Maharaja, who died in 1989, include large number of properties in Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Hyderabad.

Chief judicial magistrate Rajnish Kumar Sharma on Thursday declared that the will was "forged and fabricated", making Amrit Kaur and her sister, Deepinder Kaur, heir to the estate and assets worth Rs. 20,000 crore under the Hindu Succession Act, according to the Maharaja's family's advocate Vikas Jain.

His third daughter Maheepinder Kaur died in 2000 in Shimla. Amrit Kaur resides in Sector 10, Chandigarh while Deepinder Kaur is in Kolkata .

As the will forged on July 1, 1982 has been declared "illegal" and "void" by the court, the 'Meharwal Khewaji Trust' has also become illegal, the advocate said.

The suspicion about the will arose as the Maharaja excluded his mother Mohinder Kaur and his wife Narinder Kaur while all the servants, irrespective of their designation, and lawyers were appointed trustees.

Amrit had been divested of all the powers of heiress on the grounds that she had married against the wishes of the late Maharaja. Deepinder had been appointed trust chairman on a paltry salary of Rs. 1,200 per month while Maheepinder Kaur was given a salary of Rs. 1,000 a month.

At the time when the will was forged, Sir Brar was in depression as his only son Tikka Harmohinder Singh Brar had died. The will was executed on June 1, 1982 eight months after Tikka's death.

After the purported will came to light in 1989 following the death of the erstwhile ruler, Amrit Kaur filed a suit challenging it in 1992 stating that her father had never made any such will and she was with her father till his death.

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