Vadodara royal family settles Rs 20,000 crore property dispute after two decades

Vadodara royal family settles Rs 20,000 crore property dispute after two decades

In this file photo, Samarjitsinh Gaekwad participates in his coronation ceremony with his wife Radhika Raje Gaekwad at Laxmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara.

Vadodara:  A two-decade long battle for inheritance of property worth more than Rs 20,000 crore in one of India's most famous royal families ended in a Gujarat court today.

Estranged members of the royal Gaekwad family of the former princely state of Vadodara - recently crowned Maharaja Samarjitsinh Gaekwad and his uncle Sangramsinh - arrived at a settlement in a district court in the city.

According to the deal, the majestic Laxmi Vilas Palace and the 600 acres of land around it in Vadodara will be retained by Samarjitsinh and his family.

The Maharaja will also control the museum at the palace with its paintings, diamonds and other precious possessions.

His uncle, Sangramsinh Gaekwad, and his family will get control of the Indumati Mahal in Vadodara and a few properties owned by the Gaekwads in the city.

Sangramsinh will also retain one of the Mumbai properties of the royal family while the other properties in the city will be split between the four Gaekwad sisters.

Sangramsinh also got control over the private limited companies floated by the family earlier.

It was in 1991 that Sangramsinh Gaekwad, younger son of Sayajiirao Gaekwad, had dragged his brother Ranjitsinh to court over the property dispute.

For more than two decades, the warring families were locked in a series of litigations with the battle continuing even after Ranjitsinh's death last year.

With acrimonious litigations putting on hold any plans on capitalising on the Rs 20,000 crore property, the warring family finally decided to seal what turns out to be one of the largest settlements in independent India.

After the settlement, the families tried to cover up the strained past. "We are satisfied with the outcome and hope we will overcome the past and forge a new relationship between the family members," Samarjitsinh Gaekwad told NDTV.
Story First Published: October 23, 2013 21:24 IST

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