Supreme Court Stayed Kerala High Court Order: Legal Heirs Of Former Ruler Entitled To Annuity After Privy Purse Abolition?


The Supreme Court in the case State Of Kerala & Ors V. Ravi Parameswara Raja observed ad has stayed the order of the Kerala High Court wherein the court had directed the State Government to pay annuity to the legal heirs of the Malayala Brahmin family that possessed sovereign rights over the territory of Paravur in the present day of the Ernakulam district.
The bench comprising of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah in the case observed and has issued the notice in an appeal filed by the State wherein the court stayed the order of the division bench of the High Court.
In the present case, when the Malayala Brahmin family relinquished its sovereign rights over Paravur to the ruler of Travancore State in 764AD, it was being agreed that annuity needs to be paid to the family as the consideration. Thus, the annuity was being treated as family pension in the year 1971.
The court observed when Ravi Sharma Raja Krishna Raja died in 2011, Ravi Parameshwara Raja as the eldest male of the family applied for the pension. Thus, the State Government took the stand that pension cannot be allowed as the benefit are being granted to his predecessor was the personal right.
Therefore, the said matter was then reached the High Court and a single bench quashed the decision of government in 2020.
The Single bench observed and has directed the State in order to issue pension payment order and the annuity amount along with accrued arrears. Thus, the said decision was later being affirmed by the division bench.
The High Court in the case observed and has held that the State is obligated to pay annuity on the basis of the agreement executed by the family of the respondent with the Travancore State, and later by the United States of Travancore – Cochin, the same remains unchanged, having been accepted by the State.
Further, it has also been held by the court that the deletion or insertion of the provisions of the 26th amendment to the Constitution of India, would not alter the obligation of the State as stated under Article 295(2) of the Constitution of India, since it is a stand-alone provision independent of the provision relating to the privy purse which was deleted from the Constitution.
The counsels, Sr. Adv. Jaideep Gupta, AOR C. K. Sasi, and Adv. Meena K Poulose appeared for the State of Kerala.