After Dr Karan Singh, the heir of the last Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, has moved a local court demanding the state government to vacate the Raj Bhawan of Jammu since the lease for the sprawling property has been terminated last year. Notices to the chief secretary and others have been issued by the court, asking them to file objections to the suit filed by Hari-Tara Charitable Trust through its trustee Dr Karan Singh, seeking evacuation of the winter home of J&K Governor.
Karan Singh had signed J&K’s accord of accession with the union of India and had sought directions to reclaim the property ‘Ranbir Mahal’ and ‘Karan Niwas’, which is being used as governor’s residence at Jammu.
The Congress leader has also sought directions to hand over the vacant possession to the plaintiff of the property along with a decree for recovery of Rs. 16,368,000 as compensation for the unauthorized use and occupation of the premises.
He has submitted that his wife and Maharani of J&K, late Yasho Rajya Lakshmi owned various properties in the state, of which ‘Ranbir Mahal’ and ‘Karan Niwas’ was taken on a month-to-month lease by the governor of J&K on a monthly rent of Rs 4000 since 1967, which has increased to Rs. 80,000 per month.
According to DNA, counsel for Karan Singh, Vikram Sharma said that the petitioner has terminated the contract of lease with the government last year and the legal requirement is that the landlord has to terminate the contract the lease to claim the possession which Singh has done last year. He also noted that since the lease has been terminated, they are required to handover the possession of the premises back to the petitioner, adding, “If they fail to do so and continue to retain the premises then the owners would demand Rs 50,000 per day for a day’s use of the premises beyond the given period.
The petition also says that, “retention of the suit premises belonging to the claimant Trust by the defendants and its usage as a residence-cum-office of the governor, is, by any comparison, not of greater necessity than plaintiff trust’s requirement of putting the suit-premises and income there from for usage towards various charitable causes as set out in the Trust-Deed.