Indian princesses' '$3.3-billion windfall due to forged will'

An Indian court has ruled that the daughters of a late Maharaja should inherit his 200-billion-rupee ($3.3 billion) estate because his will was forged, ending a 21-year legal battle, reports say.

A magistrate in the northwestern city of Chandigarh ruled last Thursday that the will of the Maharaja of Faridkot had been faked to award his fortune to a trust managed by his servants and lawyers.

Neither his wife, mother, nor daughters were named as beneficiaries of his assets which included forts, a palace, vintage cars and prime property in the capital, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Vikas Jain, a lawyer representing Amrit Kaur, one of his two daughters, announced the verdict on Sunday, saying that the will had been declared as "fictitious" and "void".

Harinder Singh Brar was a ruler of the princely state of Faridkot in the wealthy northwestern state of Punjab before India's independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

The fortune, which includes cash, jewellery and even an aerodrome in Faridkot city, will be shared with his other daughter Deepinder Kaur.

The "Meharwal Khewaji Trust" which previously managed the family fortune has been declared illegal, the lawyer said.