Indian Royal Wins Decades-long Battle With Pakistan, Nizam’s Descendants to get £35m

03-10-2019 13:08:03
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Among other major achievements, a London court has ruled that a sum of £35m ($42m) laying in a UK bank account should be given to the descendants of an Indian royal. Portions of amount will also be given to the Indian state, and not to Pakistan. 

Entire dispute began in the year 1948, when Hyderabad’s last Nizam of Hyderabad deposited £1m in the UK account, held by the then Pakistan high commissioner. With interest, the sum has grown to £35m.

The judge ruled there was no evidence to back Pakistan's claims to the money.

The origins of the dispute go back to the 1947 partitioning of British India.

Hyderabad, which was a princely state, was annexed by India in 1948 in a military operation - the cash transfer had been made shortly before that.

The Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, had not been able to decide whether his state should be in Pakistan or India.

His descendants alleged that he had asked for the money to be returned weeks after the annexation by India took place, but then Pakistan refused to give it back.

The court case had been fought by his family, together with the Indian state.

The entire amount was deposited in the National Westminster Bank of United Kingdom. By 2019 the amount grew up to £35m by 2019.

The Concerned bank had, however, refused to release the funds to either party until the case was resolved by the court. Pakistan argued it had been given the money in order to procure arms but the court determined it had the right to rule in the case, given that the money had been deposited in a British bank account.

While talking to the media, Paul Hewitt, the lawyer for one of the grandsons, said, "On Wednesday, the court made it clear that it did not think the money was handed to Pakistan outright. There is overwhelming evidence that Pakistan only held the money as a trustee and it actually belonged to the Nizam”.

Hewitt said the case, which had begun when his client was a child, was finally being resolved when he was in his 80s.

"We welcome the judgment of Justice Marcus Smith," said Najaf Ali Khan, one of the Nizam's grandsons. 


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