Tripura to Move Higher Courts Against Verdict on Neer Mahal
AGARTALA: Tripura government has decided to challenge the lower court's verdict to hand over Neer Mahal, the only lake palace in eastern India and Rudra Sagar, to the successors of the erstwhile Manikya kings within next two months, a minister said today.
State Revenue Minister Badal Chowdhury said, government has decided to appeal to the higher courts against the verdict of the civil judge (Senior Division), Gobinda Das on June 8, asking the government to hand over the Neermahal and Rudrasagar to the royal scion and pay a compensation of Rs. 20.5 lakh annually along with 6 per cent interest accrued since 1974.
"The decision to go to higher courts was taken by the government after review of the situation yesterday. We have decided to go to the higher courts in the wake of the lower court verdict," he said.
The minister further said the last Prince of the royal family, Kirit Bikram had donated to the state government and no one had demanded the ownership of Neermahal and Rudrasagar until the death of the Prince.
In 2008, Maharani Bivu Kumari Devi, widow of Kirit Bikram Manikya, the son of the last king Birbikram Kishore Manikya had issued a notice to the state government requesting to hand over Neer Mahal spread over 6.01 acres and Rudra Sagar spread over 26.61 acres stating the government did not implement the will of the late Maharaja Kirit Bikram Kishore
Manikya, the last Prince.
However, the state government turned down her plea.
She then filed a case before Judicial Magistrate, West Tripura district on April 25, 2008 seeking court’s intervention to get her property – Neer Mahal and Rudra Sagar.
Bibhu Devi had pleaded, "Since the state government has failed to fulfill the will of late Maharaja to properly maintain and promote them as tourism spot, it must be returned to the owner".
Tripura's last king Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur engaged the Martin and Burn Company to build the grand palace Neermahal in 1930 in the midst of the sprawling lake–Rudrasagar, which the king used as his summer palace.
The Neermahal is the main tourist spot in Tripura which attracts thousands of tourists from the state, other parts of the country and neighbouring Bangladesh.