Indian royal family ends dispute over palaces, diamonds
25 October, 2013
AHMEDABAD: A decades-long dispute between members of one of India's former royal families over palaces, diamonds and other items worth billions of dollars has been settled, a family member said.
Members of the Gaekwad family Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding before a judge in the western city of Vadodara over property that includes a palace reportedly four times the size of Britain's Buckingham Palace. "We took the decision for the betterment of our families and are satisfied with the outcome and hope we will overcome the past and forge a new relationship," Samarjitsinh Gaekwad told reporters after the signing. The dispute erupted in 1991 between two sons of the last king of Baroda state, who ruled in what is now the western state of Gujarat during the British Raj and until independence in 1947.
The bitter battle, involving more than 20 members of their extended families, went on even after one of the sons died in May last year. The dead man's son Samarjitsinh and Samarjitsinh's uncle Sangramsinh Gaekwad continued the dispute. "Both Samarjitsinhji and Sangramsinhji have reached a settlement with regard to the royal property and have signed the settlement deal before the judge in Vadodara court," lawyer for Samarjitsinh, A.V. Avadhut, told reporters, using the Hindi phrase "ji" for respect.