Nizam Fund Case: UK Court Rules In Favour Of India; To Returns £35 Million Held By Pakistan
High Court of UK on Wednesday ruled in favour of India by granting Mukarram Jah, the titular Nizam of Hyderabad, the ownership of a fund which has been in dispute for over 70 years and now amounts to 35 million pound.
The Nizam's descendants, Prince Mukarram Jah the titular eighth Nizam of Hyderabad and his younger brother Muffakham Jah, had joined hands with the Indian government in the legal battle against the Pakistan government over around 35 million pounds lying with NatWest Bank plc in London. The Fund was being held in the account of the then High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK, Habib Rahimtoola since September 1948.
In his judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Justice Marcus Smith ruled that the "Nizam VII was beneficially entitled to the Fund and those claiming in right of Nizam VII the Princes and India are entitled to have the sum paid out to their order".
"Pakistan's contentions of non-justiciability by reason of the foreign act of state doctrine and non-enforceability on grounds of illegality both fail," the verdict notes reported news agency PTI.
"We are delighted that today's judgment recognises His Exalted Highness the VIII Nizam's rights to funds which have been in dispute since 1948. Our client was still a child when the dispute first arose and is now in his 80s. It is a great relief to see this dispute finally resolved in his lifetime," said Paul Hewitt, partner in Withers LLP, who have acted for the VIII Nizam since Pakistan issued proceedings in 2013.
Soon after the verdict was announced by the UK court, Pakistan said that it is closely examining all aspects of the judgment rejecting its claims over 35 million pounds that belonged to the Nizam of Hyderabad during his state's merger with India.
In a statement, the Pakistan Foreign Office said it will take further action in the light of legal advice received. Pakistan said it has taken note of the judgment by the High Courts of Justice of the UK in the Hyderabad Fund Case, after a two weeks trial in June 2019.
The dispute revolves around 1,007,940 pounds and nine shillings transferred in 1948 from the then Nizam of Hyderabad to the high commissioner in Britain of the newly-formed state of Pakistan. That amount has since grown into 35 million pounds as the Nizam's descendants, supported by India, claimed it belongs to them and Pakistan counter-claimed that it is rightfully theirs.
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