New Delhi: The battle for control of the erstwhile Royal Palace of Jaipur involving Queen Mother Gayatri Devi headed into a decisive phase on Monday.
The Company Law Board reserved an order on maintainability of a petition filed by her Thai grandchildren.
Brushing aside the arguments of the Palace management, the biological heirs - Devraj Singh and Lalitya Kumari - contended that they are Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and there was no need for them under the Foreign Exchange and Management Act (FEMA) to seek RBI approval to inherit their father's property.
"Under the FEMA rule, any PIO can inherit property up to Rs one billion without RBI's approval," a senior lawyer, M Malhotra said. He is appearing on behalf of the two children of Jagat Singh, the only son born to the last ruler of Jaipur Sawai Man Singh-II and Gayatri Devi.
Under the rule any person having Indian grandparents or parents is entitled for the property in India.
"Devraj is inheriting the property from his father and there is no dispute that he is Jagat's real son. (The fact) has been accepted by the Queen Mother on several occasions," argued Malhotra.
On the issue that he (Devraj) has no locus standi to sue the Jaimahal Palace Ltd (erstwhile Royal Palace), as his late father Jagat Singh's shares were still not registered in his name and his name was not in the company's register, Malhotra said that he has sued in the capacity of heir to his deceased father.
As per the directions of the Supreme Court, a person although not having his name in the company's register, can represent his father's interest after his death.