The 23-year-old royal battle for property between the late Maharaja Ranjitsinh Gaekwad and his Mumbai-based estranged brother Sangramsinh Gaekwad has finally ended.
The much-awaited truce and a settlement which has pulled down curtains on a bitter long legal battle on Wednesday between estranged family members of the erstwhile Gaekwad rulers, has been one of the longest royal battles till now. It was a battle for inheritance of the property of the princely Baroda state.
The Rs 20,000-crore property was sealed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before the Diwani court at Nyaya Mandir, a building which was gifted to the city by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III. Despite the six-month hectic negotiations, the bitterness among the families were such that even on the final moments at the court they did not exchange pleasantries with each other. On the contrary they arrived at least half an hour after each other.
On Tuesday, the two Gaekwad camps spent the whole day holding a series of separate meetings and finalising the division of properties spread across Gujarat and other parts of the country. The properties of the Gaekwads are also spread in London and other parts of Europe.
The estranged brother Sangramsinh and his brother late Ranjitsinh Gaekwad were engaged in the tiff since 1990. The tiff was over the inheritance of the ancestral property that included palaces, precious diamonds, gold jewellery, invaluable paintings and real estate properties.
Prior to this final settlement, a lot of advisers to the family, well wishers had tried to bring the family on the same platform and get an out of court settlement done. But as both brothers and the five sisters were not being able to come to any conclusion, a long drawn legal battle ensued. The present MoU now includes all the 27 signatories including Sangramsinh, coroneted king Samarjit and the four sisters and their children. Sources close to the family said that the deal could be struck as Sangramsinh agreed to settle for a compromise that did not involve Laxmi Vilas Palace where Ranjitsinh and now Samarjit stays with his family.
Speaking about the long end to the dispute, Pratapsinhrao Gaekwad son of Sangramsinh, said, “This division will bring in a new era of relationship between the estranged families.”
Expressing hope, Samarjit added, “We are satisfied with the outcome and hope that we will forge a new relationship between the estranged family members.”