Ending a long, legal battle over inheritance a Chandigarh court has ruled that the will of the erstwhile maharaja of Faridkot was “forged”, thus clearing the decks for his daughters to inherit estates and assets worth a staggering Rs 20,000 crore.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajnish Kumar Sharma on Thursday gave the verdict in favour of Sir Harinder Singh Brar’s eldest daughter, Amrit Kaur who had challenged the will which had entitled a trust as the caretaker of the estates and assets including the Faridkot House in the heart of New Delhi, a palace and a fort in Punjab besides bank deposits and jewellery.
The maharaja, father to three daughters and a son, went into a depression after the death of his son Tikka Harmohinder Singh Brar, in a car accident in 1981. Within months of Tikka’s death, in 1982, the servants taking advantage of the maharaja’s condition allegedly forged a will benefitting themselves by raising a “trust” of which all of them were made members. His daughters who would have inherited the property were allotted paltry monthly salaries of Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,000 by the trust. Not a penny was given to the maharaja’s wife Narinder Kaur or his mother Mohinder Kaur, both of who were alive then.
The maharaja’s eldest daughter, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, moved the court in 1992 after the will came to light in 1989 following her father’s death. The suspicion about the will arose as the maharaja’s mother and wife too were excluded while all the employees, irrespective of their designation or class were appointed trustees.
Now, after 21 years of countless hearings the court has declared that the 1982 will was “forged and fabricated”, making Amrit Kaur and her sister, Deepinder Kaur, heir to the estate and assets under the Hindu Succession Act.
A resident of Chandigarh, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, now almost 85 years old and her younger sister Deepinder Kaur, the maharani of Burdwan who lives in Kolkatta were held inheritors of the property. The maharaja’s mother, wife and youngest daughter Maheepinder Kaur have all died.
The Faridkot State Royal inheritance is said to be worth Rs. 20,000 crore which includes properties in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh, besides bank deposits, and jewellery.
The family’s advocate, Vikas Jain, however, added that during the pendency of the suit, the properties have been squandered away by the so-called trustees. “They even resorted to foul