Udaipur Court Decree on disputed royal property | 37 year old case sees light of the day


Udaipur Court Decree on disputed royal property | 37 year old case sees light of the day

Royal family members will occupy Shambhu Palace for a period of 4 years each says the 575 page decree order passed by ADJ2
 
Udaipur Court Decree on disputed royal property | 37 year old case sees light of the day
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  • Disputed property (excluding sold/transferred property) will be equally divided
  • Heirs will reside in the residential palace for a period of 4 years each under rotation
  • Commercial activities on disputed properties will cease

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.

The decree further instructs that the residential palace of the royal family, Shambhu Niwas, be occupied for a period of four years by each of the above parties to the case. Maharana Mahendra Singhji being the eldest of the living heirs, will be allowed to occupy Shambhu Niwas for a period of 4 years with immediate effect.

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:

  1. City Palace, Udaipur (Shambhu Niwas and Shiv Niwas Palace are a part of the City Palace premises)
  2. Jag Niwas Mahal
  3. Jag Mandir Mahal
  4. Samor Bagh
  5. Udai Vilas
  6. Nahar Magra Mahal (Inder Bagh, Lalit Bagh, Kesar Bagh, Diwaan Odhi
  7. Jaisamand Paal Mahal
  8. Dheemda ka Bagh
  9. Janana Mahal, Chittorgarh
  10. Arsi Vilas Jal Mahal
  11. Haridas Ji Ki Magri
  12. Saheliyon ki Badi
  13. Sajjangarh
  14. Fatehsagar Dam Mahal
  15. Rajsamand Mahal
  16. Nathdwara Mahal
  17. Laxmi Vilas Mahal
  18. Motor Garage (now Garden Hotel)
  19. House at Kapasan railway station
  20. Cattle Shed (Gaushala) near Sheetla Mata Mandir
  21. House near Sutharo Ki Ghati
  22. House plus 1,600 sqft land near Kheman Ghati
  23. House at Variyon ki Pol
  24. House at Chintamani ji ki Ghati
  25. House at Naga Nagri
  26. Kasaron ki Ol - Nohra
  27. Humdo ki Sehri (Idar) - Part of House
  28. Humdo ki Sehri (Kishengarh)- Part of House
  29. Rao ji Ka Hata - Part of House
  30. Pichhola Nohra - Part of House
  31. Naga Nagri Nohra - Part of House
  32. House at Kasaro ki Ol Nohra
  33. House at Bhatiyani Chohatta
  34. House at Sutharon ki Ghati Nohra
  35. House at Nai Saray
  36. Part of Lal Ghat
  37. Around 7,600 sqft of land at Mount  Abu

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.​​​​​

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