Daughters of the erstwhile Maharaja of Faridkot are set to inherit his estates and assets worth a staggering Rs 20,000 crore following a local court’s ruling after a 23-year-old legal battle that his will was forged.
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 the national capital, a palace and a fort in Punjab besides bank deposits and jewellery.
The assets include large number of properties in Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.
The court declared that the will was “forged and fabricated”, making Amrit Kaur and her sister, Deepinder Kaur, heir to the estate and assets worth Rs 20,000 crore under the Hindu Succession Act.
As the will forged on July 1, 1982 has been declared “illegal” and “void” by the court, the ‘Meharwal Khewaji Trust’ has also become illegal, according to the Maharaja’s family’s advocate Vikas Jain.
Of the Maharaja’s three daughters, Amrit Kaur resides in Sector 10, Chandigarh; Deepinder Kaur is in Kolkata while Maheepinder Kaur died a few years ago in Shimla.
At the time when the will was forged, Sir Brar was in depression as his only son Tikka Harmohinder Singh Brar had died.
On June 1, 1982, the servants in connivance with certain people and lawyers had executed the will, while the Maharaja’s family including his wife and mother (then alive) were kept in the dark.
The will which was executed eight months after Tikka Harmohinder’s death, raised the trust and all the servants of Maharaja and lawyers, including some others were made trustees.
Amrit Kaur was divested of all the powers of heiress on the ground that she had married against the wishes of the late Maharaja.
Deepinder Kaur was appointed trust chairman on paltry salary of Rs 1,200 per month while Maheepinder Kaur was given a salary of Rs 1,000 a month.
After the purported will came to light in 1989 following the death of the erstwhile ruler, Amrit Kaur filed a suit challenging the will in 1992 stating that her father had never made any such will and she was with her father till his death.
The suspicion about the will arose as the Maharaja excluded his mother Mohinder Kaur and his wife Narinder Kaur while all the employees, irrespective of their designation or class were appointed trustees.