Decided on July 02,1954

Sewa Singh Gill Appellant
Highness Maharaja Rajbir Singh Of Jind Respondents


- (1.) This petition under section 3 of the Guardians and Wards Act was filed by S. Sewa Singh Gill and his wife Sardarni Bhupinder Kaur praying for their appointment as guardians of persons and property of Satbir Singh, Gajbir Singh and Ravindarbir Singh, the three minor sons of Maharani Satindar Kaur, the wife of the Maharaja of Jind, who died at Dehra Dun on the 10th of February, 1954. S. Sewa Singh Gill petitioner is stated to be the brother of the mother of the deceased Maharani Satindar Kaur, and the petitioner's claim to be appointed as guardians of the persons and property of the minors in preference to their prima facie natural guardian i.e. their father the Maharaja, who has been made the respondent in the petition, is based on the allegations that the Maharani had long since been estranged from her husband, whose cruel treatment has hastened her death, and that the late Maharani had been brought up by S. Sewa Singh Gill petitioner and she and her children had frequently been living with him. As an additional ground relating to jurisdiction it was stated in the petition that the late Maharani had left a house at New Delhi No. 1 Sikandra Road, and it was further alleged that by a will executed two days before she died on the 8th of February 1954 she had appointed the petitioners as guardians of the persons and property of her minor sons.
(2.) This petition was filed in the Circuit Court at Delhi on the 17th of February and was admitted on the 17th of February, 1954 by Kapur, J., who also passed a number of orders in the days immediately following on applications filed by the petitioners relating to the safeguarding of the property of the minors.
(3.) In the written statement filed on behalf of the respondent Maharaja some preliminary objections relating to jurisdiction had been raised. The first of these is that this Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition direct as it has no ordinary original civil jurisdiction in guardianship matters. It is further objected that in any case the Court to which the petition would lie is outside the territorial jurisdiction of this Court, it being contended that it would either lie at Dehra Dun in Uttar Pradesh, where all three minor boys were at school, and where the late Maharani was residing at the time of her death, or else at Sangrur which is the place of residence of the Maharaja, respondent and where the boys have been residing with him since the death of their mother. The mere fact that the late Maharani owned a house at Delhi, though it might furnish some ground for the Court at Delhi to have jurisdiction to entertain a petition for appointment as guardian of the property of the minors, would not geve that court jurisdiction to entertain a petition for appointment as guardian of both persons and property.;

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