fifty years ago SEPTEMBER 8, 1970 Archives

From the Archives (September 8, 1970): De-recognition: Princes notified

The Finance Minister, Mr. Y.B. Chavan, announced in the Rajya Sabha to-day the President’s decision to de-recognise all the Rulers and thereby terminate their privy purses and privileges with immediate effect. But he assured the de-recognised princes that the Government would honour its declared policy of making transitional payments to enable them to make the necessary adjustment to the changed circumstances. Even before Mr. Chavan made the announcement, the Home Secretary to the Government of India despatched letters individually to all the 278 princes — and other beneficiaries of the privy purses in Gujarat where the law of primogeniture does not apply in all cases — formally notifying them of the President’s decision. Altogether about 320 former princes and their dependents will be affected by this decision abolishing the very concept of rulership and terminating the privy purses to them. The 278 former Rulers who are regular recipients of privy purses include Dr. Karan Singh, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, whose privy purse was paid all these years not on the basis of any covenant signed by his father after the State’s accession but on the strength of the letters patent exchanged with the Government of India at the time of the renunciation of his ruling powers.

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