Legal notices for cancellation of Jagatjit Palace sale

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Kapurthala, Nov 26: Maharaj Kumar Suryajit Singh, the great grandson of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Kapurthala State, has served legal notices for the cancellation of the sale deed of Jagatjit Palace, now housing the Sainik School.

The notices have been served to Secretary Defence, Sainik Schools Society, Punjab Chief Secretary, Collector Kapurthala, Principal Sainik School, Defence Minister, Punjab Governor and and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Through the notices, Maharaj has stated that his grandfather, Brig (Retd) Sukhjit Singh Mahraja of Kapurthala, had sold the Jagatjit Palace and its adjoining land vide sale deed dated May 17, 1961 for a consideration of Rs 16,10,000, which was kept a secret transaction.

He said the mutation of the deed was sanctioned in favour of the Punjab government after a period of 19 years on May 28, 1980.

Maharaj stated that his father Tikka Raja Shatrujit Singh and his grandfather Maharaja Sukhjit Singh are the members of the joint Hindu family and the family is governed by Hindu Mitakshra law in the matter of inheritance and alienation of joint Hindu family properties.

He claimed that his ancestors were the sovereign rulers of the erstwhile Kapurthala princely state which was founded by Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. After Independence, Kapurthala state was merged into Union of India and its rulers remained no more sovereign rulers and the members of royal family became ordinary citizens.

Jagatjit Palace and its adjoining land, measuring 245 acres, was ancestral coparcener property in the hands of Maharaja Sukhjit Singh.

. Maharaj stated that he visited Kapurthala town in May 2008 to participate in the birth anniversary of Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia and visited the Jagatjit Palace and came to know for the first time that it had been sold by his grandfather to the Punjab Government in 1961.

He said he was born and brought up in Delhi since his birth and was not aware of the sale.

He stated after the sale, the Ministry of Defence set up a Sainik school in the building.

The sale was not the legal necessity of the joint Hindu family and was not for the good management of the joint Hindu family. It was sold out of sheer indifferent behaviour towards the joint hindu family, he added.

He claimed that Jagatjit Palace, which is the replica of palace of Versailles in Paris, was the symbol of Ahluwalia dynasty which ruled the Kapurthala princely state for seven generations. Maharaj said he came to know that the Punjab government was intending to sell the palace to a multinational company for setting up a five star hotel.

He said he had been requesting the Punjab and the Central government to admit his title regarding Jagatjit Palace and cancel the sale deed and hand over its vacant possession to him, but of no avail.

He has given two months notice to admit his title regarding the Palace, failing which he would be forced to file a civil suit against them.

Deputy Commissioner J M Balamurugan, to whom the legal notice was also served, when contacted said he had not yet received the notice and would inform the government on receiving it.


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