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Supreme Court rejects government's claim on royal family land

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the State government's plea claiming ownership of 1,561.31 acres of land beside Chamundi Hills and upheld the rights of Mysuru royal family to the property.

Earlier, a division bench of the Karnataka High Court had ruled that the property in Kurubarahalli, Alanahalli and Chowdahalli in three survey numbers were erstwhile royal's private property. When the government did not abide by the judgement, the royal family filed a contempt of court petition which is pending for hearing. Former Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru Rohini Sindhuri filed an appeal against the Karnataka HC judgement in the Supreme Court claiming that the revenue records showed that they were Kharab lands.

The State government contended that Kharab land was meant to utilise for public purposes which was in vogue during the British regime in 1881-1883. The high court dismissed deputy commissioner's order that the property belonged to the State government. The DC contended that as per an agreement reached between the State government and royal family in 1950, the lands were declared public property.

The government's appeal against the HC order was rejected by a division bench of the apex court comprising Justice Uday U Lalit and Ajay Rastogi. The bench said that already the land was bought by many people and the State government appeal was too late to be entertained. The court held that the acquisition of the land by the State government after 1950 meant that it originally belonged to the royal family. Of the 1563.31 acres of land more than 600 acres is being utilised for government offices, mounted police wing, Mysuru Zoo, Race Course, helipad, Lalit Mahal Palace Hotel, lakes.

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