SC reserves order on 20,000cr Faridkot royal property dispute

Published on Jul 29, 2022 01:32 AM IST

The triple bench of justice Uday Umesh Lalit, justice S Ravindra Bhat and justice Sidhanshu Dhulia heard arguments on Wednesday and Thursday. The bench said the matter related to testamentary succession has been heard and order is reserved

Rajmahal in Faridkot, one of the disputed properties, is spread over 14 acres. It was constructed in 1885 as the royal residence. Now, a 150-bed charitable hospital stands on a portion of the palace ground. (HT file photo)
Rajmahal in Faridkot, one of the disputed properties, is spread over 14 acres. It was constructed in 1885 as the royal residence. Now, a 150-bed charitable hospital stands on a portion of the palace ground. (HT file photo)

Faridkot : The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on the 30-year-long legal battle for the royal inheritance of the erstwhile Maharaja of Faridkot Harinder Singh Brar.

The triple bench of justice Uday Umesh Lalit, justice S Ravindra Bhat and justice Sidhanshu Dhulia heard arguments on Wednesday and Thursday. The bench said the matter related to testamentary succession has been heard and order is reserved.

In an order dated July 19, the SC said the submission on behalf of the petitioners shall be restricted to one session and that the entire bunch of matters can be disposed of in two days.

The battle between Maharawal Khewaji Trust that manages the 20,000-crore worth property of the last ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Faridkot and Maharaja’s daughter Amrit Kaur could easily be among one of the longest in the legal history of this region.

The Maharaja’s daughter, Amrit Kaur, had challenged the “will” entitling a trust as caretaker of the royal assets, including forts, palatial houses, hundreds of acre of prime land, heritage jewellery, vintage cars and a hefty bank balance.

In July 2020, The Maharawal Khewaji Trust had moved the SC against the Punjab and Haryana high court order declaring Brar’s will dated June 1, 1982, as ‘forged’, in its favour. In August 2020, the apex court had ordered status quo till the judgment, allowing the trust to continue as caretaker.

In June 2020, the high court had upheld a Chandigarh court’s order on June 1, awarding majority share in the 20,000-crore property of Brar to his two daughters — Amrit Kaur, who challenged the will in 1992, and Deepinder Kaur. The court held that descendants of Manjit Inder Singh, the last ruler’s brother, would get their mother Mohinder Kaur’s share.

As of the will in dispute, the court observed, trustees conspired to create the will to take over the property. “The will is proved to be forged, fictitious, fabricated and shrouded with suspicious circumstances,” the court order said.

In 2013, the Chandigarh district court had declared the will, which had entitled Maharawal Khewaji Trust as the caretaker of the properties, as illegal and void and granted inheritance to Brar’s two daughters— Amrit and Deepinder.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Parteek Singh Mahal is a multimedia correspondent based at Faridkot in Punjab. He covers medical education, politics and Punjab police.

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