CHANDIGARH: The Kapurthala House, which is currently the official residence of the Punjab Chief Minister in New Delhi, will continue to remain in the possession of the state government. The Delhi High Court rejecting the right of the Late Maharaja of Kapurthala to sell off the palatial property after it was requisitioned by the Union government.
In its July 31 order, the copy of which was received on Tuesday, a two-judge bench of the High Court, comprising Justices S. Muralidhar and Talwant Singh, ruled that the No. 3 Mansingh Road property could not be sold off as the Maharaja had lost title to the property subsequent to its requisition.
The case was argued in the court on behalf of the Punjab government by senior advocate Kapil Sibal. The main respondents were the Union government, which submitted that it had handed over possession of the property to Punjab, finding it to be the rightful owners.
Giving details of the case, Advocate General of Punjab Atul Nanda said Kapurthala was a sovereign state till its merger with the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU), and the subsequent merger of PEPSU into the Dominion of India.
The property was requisitioned through an order passed on June, 17, 1950, under Section 3 of the Delhi Premises (Requisition and Acquisition) Act, 1947. On December 4, 1950, the Union government took possession of the property in question from late Radheshyam Makhanilal Seksaria, who was said to have purchased it from the late Maharaja Paramjit Singh, a former ruler of the Kapurthala State.
The dispute arose when Seksaria filed a suit in 1960 for declaration of his title to the property in a district court, Delhi, from where it was subsequently transferred to the Delhi High Court in the year 1967.