Thursday, 3 October 2019

Hyderabad fund case (£35 million) - UK court ruled in favor of the Nizam family, India, a setback for near-bankrupt Pakistan

Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, the VII Nizam, India orissapost.com
Nizam Cash case. deccanchronicle.com
That being filthy rich,  a man can not have peace of mind as he becomes an object of public attention and center of storm within the family is quite true. Almost all through his life he will get tangled in a variety of legal battles over which  he will lose his sleep. This is true of the Nizam of Hyderabad, India  who was one of the richest men in the world  70 decades ago. His huge  fund got stuck in a British bank is the latest scoop in India and in England

The Hyderabad Fund case in the UK - eighth Nizam of erstwhile province Hyderabad, India  vs Pakistan government: It had been a long-drawn legal battle - over 70 years  in the UK High Court over the  ownership of a fund that now amounts to £35 million - a whooping sum and, at last, the Nizam family  emerged victorious.  The court upheld in favor of India and the kin of 7th Nizam on Wednesday (2nd Oct.2019). Indeed, a great setback for Pakistan which is now in the final phases of absolute bankruptcy. The Pakistan government had claimed the ownership of the fund and had filed a case against Mukarram Jah, the titular Nizam of Hyderabad in the UK court in 2013. As the Pakistan PM is visiting rich countries with a panhandle for hefty loans, some media reports point out that it may delay the payment to the Nizams or buy time to go for an appeal against the recent verdict. Media reports also suggest  that there is no room for the appeal.
Nizam family members, Hyderabad, India /indianexpress.com

Jubilant Paul Hewitt, one of Nizam's lawyers said,  "We are delighted that today's judgment recognizes His exalted Highness the VIII Nizam's rights to funds which have been in dispute since 1948." 
The main bottleneck in this litigation is besides covering a myriad of complex historical and legal issues, the lawyers had to come up with right interpretation of laws and relevant facts and events  that took place  in September 1948 soon after India's freedom in Aug. 1947 (70 years ago) to establish that the funds were always held in trust by HEH Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, the VII Nizam.
Hyderabad province, before freedom en.wikipedia.org/

The legal dispute goes back to Sept. 1948  when Nawab Moin Nawaz Jung, an official in the Nizam administration, transferred   £1 million and one Ginni to the then Pakistan High Commissioner’s London account as a fund for "trust for safekeeping"  if there were an invasion from India.  At that time, the princely state of Hyderabad was yet become part of Indian Union. The Nizam rendered the funds unauthorized, following which the bank authorities fronze them until the rightful claim was established. Since that time the funds that now amounted to roughly Rs. 303 crores are tied-up in the National Westminster Bank in the UK.

The presiding judge Marcus Smith discarded several claims made by Pakistan and  upheld the ones made by India and the Nizm's kin. Pakistan came up with a cock and bull story, as usual, that the money deposited in the UK bank was meant for arms supplied by Pakistan to the erstwhile state during operation ''Polo'' and for keeping it out of reach of India. Though Pakistan did supply weapons to the Nizam (to instigate internal problems against India), there was no recorded evidence to prove it. The court found that that the money transfer made by Moin was not authorized by the Nizam.

Prince Mukarram Jah, titular 8th Nizam of Hyderabad,India.(PTI) .thehindu.com

Later, the Nizam denied that the fund was transferred with his consent and asked it back. But the bank denied the request as the money was not in his name. The  bank  contended that the fund could not be transferred without the agreement of Pakistan, which now had legal title to the fund. Undaunted, the Nizam initiated legal proceedings against the bank in the 1950s; later the case went before  the House of Lords. The case again hung in the air as   Pakistan had claimed sovereign immunity.
Hyderabad, India fund case, England timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Hyderabad, India fund case, England timesofindia.indiatimes.com
In 2013, the case came up before the court. Last and the seventh grandson of the Nizam - Mukkaram Jah, a resident of Turkey, persued the case to claim the money and the Indian government   supported the Nizam’s claim over the money.

Pakistan lost the case and the funds had to be be transferred to the Nizam family.  The descendant of Nizam was just a kid  then when the funds got caught in the legal tangle way back in 1950s in a British bank and the ruler moved the UK court in 1951.  Now, in his 80s, he is happy the long dispute came to an end enabling the legal hairs to claim it.
https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/uk-high-court-rules-infavour-of-hyderabad-nizam-returns-his-35-million-held-by-pakistan-1605600-2019-10-02

https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/220616/hyderabad-funds-case-nizams-money-case-goes-to-trial.html