India and Pakistan are fighting over Nizam’s £35 million fortune lying at the Natwest Bank since the partition

Royal Court of Justice, LondonWikimedia

  • India and Pakistan are fighting for the rights of £35 million belonging to the Nizam of Hyderabad, in the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
  • The then Nizam of Hyderabad, late Nizam Osman Ali Khan, had transferred 1,007,940 pounds and nine shillings to the NatWest Bank in London in 1948.
  • The Nizam’s descendents, Prince Mukarram Jah and his younger brother Muffakham Jah, have joined hands with the government of India.
India and Pakistan are heading for yet another clash over a dispute of around £35 million, according to a report. The case is underway in the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

The trial which is being presided over by Justice Marcus Smith, is listed as The High Commissioner for Pakistan in the United Kingdom versus seven others, including the Nizam’s descendents, the Union of India and the President of India. The judgement from the court is expected in six weeks.

Soon after the independence and formation of Pakistan, the Nizam of Hyderabad, late Nizam Osman Ali Khan, who then wanted to accede Hyderabad to Pakistan, had transferred his fortune to the high commissioner of Pakistan in Britain and that was then deposited with the NatWest Bank in London.

The fortune was 1,007,940 pounds and nine shillings in 1948, which has since then grown into £35 million.

India and Pakistan have since then been fighting for the rights of the fortune.

The Nizam’s descendents have joined hands with the government of India in the legal pursuit for the fortune, further strengthening the case in India’s favour while Pakistan has been claiming the riches to be rightfully theirs.

"His Exalted Highness Nizam VIII and his younger brother have waited decades to receive what their grandfather gifted them. Pakistan has blocked access for 70 years and we hope the recent trial will mean a final resolution at last," said Paul Hewitt, partner at Withers law firm, which is representing the eighth Nizam of Hyderabad, in the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

The major question the court has to deal with is who exactly is the beneficial owner of the funds.

It is to be noted that the Nizam himself had reportedly asked the NatWest Bank to return the funds, which were held back by the bank. The fortune was deposited into the London bank account of the then Pakistan High Commissioner Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola.




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