Mysuru: The Mysore royal family, which has been fighting for control of the Bengaluru palace and its grounds, has won a small victory with the Supreme Court ruling in its favour on 15.39 acres of the grounds.
The court has in its order of November 21 ordered that the royal family be compensated for the land aquired for road widening under Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) as promised.
Although the dispute over 400 acres of the palace grounds remains unresolved with a nine-judge bench still not constituted to decide on the larger property’s fate, the present verdict is seen as a setback for the state government as it could set a precedent in the other appeals filed before the Supreme Court by the royal family.
Speaking to media from the Mysore palace, Maharani Pramoda Devi welcomed the verdict, but regretted that it had come after the death of her husband, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, who had fought for the family’s rights all his life.
“I would have been happy, if the ruling had come when he was around. But still, it’s a great relief for the family and I hope the main case is also fast-tracked,” she said.
The present case dates back to 2009 when the BBMP acquired 15.39 acres of the palace grounds for widening the Maharshi Road (Bellary – New Airport Road) and Jayamahal Road adjacent to it under Transfer of Development Rights (TDR). But in 2011, the then government backtracked and offered to pay a paltry compensation of Rs 25 lakh for the property whose current market value is around Rs 1,300 crore.
“My husband and his sisters agreed to give away the land in public interest despite knowing the family would lose heavily and TDR value is no match for the market price. But the government didn’t appreciate our generosity and we had to fight for our rights for almost four years. Now, the apex court has given us what was promised in 2009,” Ms. Pramoda Devi said.