Karnataka Royal Family's Custody of Howdah, Throne Challenged

Published: 27th September 2015 04:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th September 2015 04:54 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU:Academician P V Nanjaraja Urs has filed a petition in the High Court, seeking directions to the state government to take possession of golden howdah (elephant seat) and throne into its custody from the royal family.

Advocate N P Amrutesh, representing the 78-year-old petitioner from Mysuru, filed a memo before Justice A S Bopanna to post the hearing of the case to Monday.

In his interim prayer, Urs appealed to the court to issue directions to the state government not to make payment of royalty to Pramoda Devi while inviting her to the forthcoming Dasara festival-2015, which is on from October 13 to 23.

He said the release of royalty to Pramoda Devi Wodeyar for these must be declared an illegal transfer of money.  “The Mysore Palace (Acquisition and Transfer) Act has come into effect and the state government has taken over possession, control and custody of the palace itself, which includes the golden howdah and throne. Under these circumstances, Pramoda Devi having control, custody and possession of those two articles is an offence,” Urs claimed. 

He said that despite the royalty’s priveleges being abolished in 1971, the payment of royalty to the Wodeyar family each Dasara to get these articles by the Kannada and Culture Department is illegal.

Citing the ground for interim prayer, the petitioner raised objections to the Dasara High Power Committee-2015, chaired by the Chief Minister, who is said to have taken the decision to pay an honorarium of `50 lakh to Pramoda Devi and also request her to give the Golden Howdah and Golden Throne for the forthcoming Dasara festival.

Nanjaraj Urs also raised a question on giving the darbar hall to the royal family.

“During Navaratri, the royal family is going to perform their Dasara pooja rituals and other activities at the darbar hall and Kalyana Mantapa of the Amba Vilas Palace. Both are situated within the Mysore Palace, which is now under the control and custody of the state government. Till today, the royal family has not taken any permission for doing so. The royal family has not paid even a single rupee as royalty or rent to the government. However, the state is paying an honorarium to get golden howdah and throne. From 2012-2014, the state government had paid a royalty of `75 lakh. This money is public money, every rupee is accountable,” Urs said.

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