The Rajasthan High Court on Friday rejected appeal petitions filed by the erstwhile Jaipur royal family asking for possession of the 180-year old Sawai Man Singh Town Hall and Home Guard office complex in the Walled City.
Justice Narendra Singh Dhaddha, hearing on the appeals by petitioner Padmini Devi and others pronounced that both these properties will remain in the possession of Rajasthan government. The court had reserved the judgement after completing the hearing on August 4, 2023.
What erstwhile royal family claims?
The erstwhile royal family in the appeal had stated that town hall and the accountant's office located in the Jaleb Chowk complex were considered private property through a covenant and were given to the government for its use on license.
The property given to the accountant's office was being used for the home guard office.
“Now that the government is not using these properties for which it was licensed, these properties should be given back to the erstwhile royal family,” the petitioner argued.
What Rajasthan government claims?
The state government claimed that they have received the possession of properties through covenant not through license. Covenant can't be challenged before any court.
“At the time when covenant was signed, assembly was not in existence. So the state government is free to use the properties as per its choice and need,” the state government argued.
What are government's plans?
The state government plans to set up Rs 100-crore international museum in the Town Hall. Work had started but was later stayed as the matter subjudice. Now that the court has decided in favour of the government, it can restart construction of museum.
Earlier assembly used to run in Sawai Man Singh Town Hall. Later in 2000, the assembly was shifted to the new building near Jyoti Nagar. The erstwhile royal family, on August 7, 2019 moved lower court to get back the possession of Town Hall. But the petition was dismissed. After that, they filed appeal petition in High Court, which has now been dismissed.
Vivek Shukla is a management graduate who has worked in corporate worked for 20 years and is now pursuing his passion — news.