In a landmark decision today, Additional District Judge 2 at the Udaipur District Session Court has announced its decree in favor of the plaintiff, Maharana Mahendra Singhji Mewar, under the provisions of the Hindu Undivided Family Act.
As per the plaintiff's advocate, Narendra Singh's statement, the bench at ADJ2 under presiding Judge Mahendra Kumar Dave announced the decree in favour of the plaintiff Maharana Mahendra Singhji Mewar.
The decree instructs a section of the disputed properties to be divided equally under the four named in the will of late Maharana Bhupal Singhji, viz. Maharana Bhagwat Singhji, Maharana Mahendra Singhji, Maharana Arvind Singhji and Yogeshwari Kumari. This will not affect those properties that have been sold.
Commercial activities in select properties have to cease with immediate effect. Most of these properties are well known hotels and tourist attractions.
The decree also instructs that a sum equivalent to 75% of the total sum received on the sale of select disputed properties in the last 37 years, be distributed among the plaintiff and others named in will.
As per available information, the defendent will move to appeal in the Rajasthan High Court against the decree. The defendant may also seek a stay order on the decree.
About the case
The case (63/1983) dates back to 22 April 1983, when Maharana Mahendra Singji Mewar, eldest son of the last ruler of Udaipur state, late Maharana Bhagwat Singhji Mewar and titular head of Sisodia clan since India's independence (rule abolished) laid claim to the properties of the princely state of Mewar.
As per records, Maharana Bhagwat Singhji Mewar was the last ruler of Udaipur state. His reign began in 1956 and ended in 1984. Prior to Maharan Bhagwat Singhji, his father Maharana Bhupal Singhji Mewar (Founder Patron of Vidhya Pracharini Sabha Bhupal Nobles' Sansthan, Udaipur) reigned from 1930 till 1956.
The case filed under the provisions of Hindu Undivided Family Act took cogniscance of the will of late Maharana Bhagwat Singhji Mewar, where his son, Maharana Arvind Singhji Mewar was asked to be the executor (निष्पादक) of the properties of the royal family. Maharana Bhupal Singhji Mewar, father of late Maharana Bhagwat Singh had, in his will had divided the property across four heirs - his son Maharana Bhagwat Singh, his daughter Yogeshwari Kumari, and his grandsons, Maharana Mahendra Singh and Maharana Arvind Singh.
As per the plaintiff Mahendra Singh, his brother Arvind Singh occupied the residential palace, Shambhu Niwas and lay stake to all property under the guise of executor. Commercial activities have been going on in a majority of the vast list of properties under dispute. Some of the names include the world famous Lake Palace Hotel, Fateh Prakash Palace, Shikardabi, to name a few. The following is the list of immovable property under the purview of the aforementioned case:
The properties mentioned under sr no 20 till 35 were given to the staff of the royal family, who had served them for generations. these properties have not been disputed by the plaintiff.
Rs 30,19,270/- in the form of movable assets is also under the purview of the case. There are other numerous movable assets in the form of companies and immovable assets in cities like Mumbai that fall under the purview of the case.