(1.)THESE two cases have come before this Court under the following circumstances.
(2.)ON 12th October 1963, Colonel His Highness Maharaja Sawai Tejsinghji of Alwar filed Civil Suit No. 5 of 1963 in the court of the District Judge, Alwar, for a declaration that the properties detailed in paragraph No. 4 of the plaint were the private properties of the plaintiff and the defendant No. 2, the State of Rajasthan, be ejected therefrom, or, in the alternative, ordered to pay rent at Rs. 1000/-p. m. A decree for Rupees 36,000/- was also claimed for mesne profits. These properties may be briefly described as (1) The stable of the City Palace known as Secretariat these days; (2) Daulatkhana and (3) Indraviman Station. The plaintiff's case is that he was the Ruler of the erstwhile Alwar State on the 1st April, 1948, and till then he was the owner of all the properties belonging to the State of Alwar. On 1st april, 1948, the Alwar State merged into the State of Matsya and thereafter in the state of Rajasthan. The plaintiff made a claim before the Government of India that the City Palace and the adjoining buildings be held to be the private property of the plaintiff. The Union of India accepted this claim and sent a letter D. O. No. F. 4/40/p/49 dated 14th September, 1949, to this effect. According to the plaintiff, the City Palace and the adjoining buildings included the suit properties. The plaintiff further alleged that after the coming into force of the Constitution, the plaintiff became an ordinary citizen of India and became owner of the suit properties in that capacity. On 31st September, 1952, the plaintiff received a letter from the Deputy Secretary, Political Department, Government of Rajasthan, communicating to him that the suit properties were not included in his private properties. On receipt of this letter, the plaintiff carried on correspondence with the Union of India but without any result. He was informed by D. O. No. F10/30/59 dated 24th December, 1959, by the Government of India stating that the disputed properties were not included in his private properties. The plaintiff claimed that the possession of the State of Rajasthan was more permissive possession; but since it is denying the right of ownership of the plaintiff he had a right to obtain the possession of the suit properties and to claim mesne profits for use and occupation for the last three years preceding the suit.
(3.)IN the written statement filed on behalf of the Union of India, it was admitted that on 28th February, 1948, a Government for the formation of the United State of Matsya was entered into by the plaintiff, who was then the Ruler, of Alwar, and the Rulers of Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli. Under Article XI of the said covenant, it was provided that the Ruler of each Covenanting State shall be entitled to enjoy the full ownership, use and enjoyment of all private properties belonging to him on the date of his making over of the administration of his State. Each of the Rulers was required to furnish before 1st May, 1948, an inventory of all the immovable properties, etc. held by him as private property. The said Article also provided for resolution of disputes in regard to the character of any property as between the Ruler and the Union by reference to a nominee of the Government of India. Subsequently on 10th May, 1949, an agreement was drawn up between the Rajpramukh of the United State of Rajasthan and the Rulers of Alwar, bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli for the merger of the United State of Matsya with effect from 15th May, 1949, and the abrogation of the Covenant entered into by the Rulers of the Matsya States. In accordance with the provisions of the Matsya covenant, the Ruler of Alwar submitted an inventory of the properties which he claimed to be private, and in this was included the City Palace including the adjoining building. In their letter dated 14th September, 1949, the following decision of the Government of India in respect of the City Palace was communicated to the Ruler of Alwar:
"description of Decision of the States Ministry, property. City Palace Ancestral. The portion of the including adjoining building at present in use by the building State for administrative purpose or for Museum and Imperial bank will continue to be so used till such time as required. The requirements of the State in furture will not be of the same order as today and every effort will be made to release the accommodation at present occupied in the Zenana and mardana Mahals at the earliest practicable date. The State will bear the maintenance cost of the portion used by it. Any addition or alteration in the portion used by the State will require the prior consent of His Highness and should be carried out at State expense. "
According to the Union of India, the above decision broadly and in outline represented the agreement between the Ruler and the government of India in terms of Article XII, Clause (3) of the Covenant constituting the United State of Rajasthan, which had become applicable, with certain amendments, to the Ruler of the State of Alwar. It is contended that the agreement was not complete and detailed, and there was a difference of opinion between the Government of Rajasthan and the Ruler of Alwar about the precise limits of the City Palace and the adjoining properties. After discussion with the Ruler, it Was decided in 1952, that the main building of the City Palace and the adjoining building comprising the Jagir Office, the Central Record, Imperial Bank, Treasury etc. would be treated as belonging to the Ruler. It was also specifically decided that the Ruler's property would not include, the Secretariat. The ruler of Alwar was informed of this decision through the State of rajasthan. The Ruler was also informed on 24th December, 1959, by the government of India that the suit properties had not been recognised as his private properties. It Was contended that the letter dated 24th december, 1959, represented the final agreement between the parties as regards the property in dispute. It is contended that Article 363 of the constitution ousted the jurisdiction of the court as regards any disputes arising out of any provision of the Covenant. It was further contended that without prejudice to the provisions of Article 363 of the constitution, the Ruler having been a party to the discussion after differences had arisen, it was not open to him to go back upon the decision finally communicated to him by the letter dated 24th December, 1959. The State of Rajasthan has also taken up the same line of defence.