HC Deb 07 June 1888 vol 326 cc1371-3

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether the Government of India recognizes the infant Gond Raja as the lawful representative of the ancient Kings of the Nagpur territory; whether, when the Government of India assumed the direct rule of that territory, the Crown Lands of the late Gond Raja (being also an infant at the time) were taken away, and a cash allowance of much less value settled on the family; whether the late Gond Raja, on coming to years of maturity, made complaint, and was informed that his complaint was barred by lapse of time; whether, in orders dated June 30, 1854, the Govern- ment of India stated "that this allowance will be upheld in all its integrity, without any abatement or reservation whatever;" whether, on the death of the late Gond Raja and the succession of his grandson, the present infant Raja, the cash allowance has been reduced to less than half; and, whether the guardians of the infant Raja have memorialized the Secretary of State against this reduction, and have stated that the reduced allowance is insufficient to meet the necessary expenses of the family?


The present Gond Raja, who is the grandson and adopted son of the late Raja, has been recognized by the Government as the head of the Gond family, which once ruled in Nagpur before it was dispossessed by the Mahratta power in the middle of last century. When the Government assumed the direct rule of the Nagpur territory in 1854, on failure of heirs to the Mahratta ruling family, the Gond Rajas appear (from the records in the India Office bearing on the arrangement for the assumption of rule in Nagpur) to have been in receipt of an allowance of 125,000 Nagpur rupees. The family is still in possession of 48 villages, the claim to which seems never to have been interfered with; and there is no evidence of any lands (in no sense could they be called "Crown lands") having been taken away. The allowance continued to the Gond Raja in 1854 was the same as that hitherto paid by the Nagpur State. There is no record of any complaint as to the alleged substitution of a cash allowance for land having ever been made by the late Gond Raja. The quotation, which is correct, is taken from a letter communicating orders from the Secretary to the Government of India to the Commissioner of Nagpur. The paragraph in which that quotation occurs refers to, and is based upon, a paragraph in the Commissioner's letter, in which his opinion is stated that— Generally these allowances should be upheld for the lives of incumbents, and when the allowance has been in the same family for more than one generation that it should be continued to a second life," &c. It is evident, from the context, that the allowance was not intended to be guaranteed in perpetuity. On the death of the late Gond Raja the allowance was, in accordance with rules for the succession of Nagpur political pensions laid down by the Secretary of State in 1863, reduced from Rs. 1,06,837 9 as. 8 ps. (the equivalent of 125,000 Nagpur rupees) to Rs. 50,000. The present Raja also succeeds to the 48 villages held by his grandfather. The Ranis Moti Knar and Basant Knar have appealed to the Secretary of State against the orders of the Government of India, and their appeal has been rejected.


gave Notice that, on the Indian Budget, he should call attention to the promise made by the Government of India to the Gond family, and to the way in which, in his opinion, it had been broken.