India: Daughters Win Maharaja's £2.2bn Fortune

India: Daughters Win Maharaja's £2.2bn Fortune

The daughters of a Maharaja have won a 21-year legal battle to inherit his £2.2bn estate.

A court in the northwestern Indian city of Chandigarh ruled that Harinder Singh Brar's will had been forged to award his fortune to a trust managed by his servants and lawyers.

Neither his wife, mother, or daughters had been named as beneficiaries in his will, which included forts, a palace, a 200-acre aerodrome, vintage cars, and jewellery.

Lawyers representing his daughters, Amrit and Deepinder Kaur, said the 32-year-old will had been declared as "fictitious" and "void", the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

They said the Meharwal Khewaji Trust, which had inherited his assets, was also declared illegal by chief judicial magistrate Rajnish Kumar.

The Maharaja ruled the Punjabi state of Faridkot before British colonial rule ended in 1947.

He was allowed to keep a number of properties after India's independence, including Faridkot House in the heart of New Delhi and the historic Mani Majra fort in Faridkot.

The court heard he became depressed when his son, Harmohinder Singh, died in a road accident in 1981.

In her lawsuit, Amrit Kaur, claimed the trust members had forced her father to sign the will a year later when he was not in a "fit state of mind".

She pointed out that the will had completely excluded his wife, Narinder Kaur, and mother, Mohinder Kaur, who were both alive at the time.

The trustees are likely to appeal the ruling in a higher court.

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