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British Court ruling over Hyderabad Fund brings cheer to the Nizam family


Portrait of Mir Osman Ali Khan, 

Hyderabad: With UK High Court’s ruling that “Hyderabad Fund” amounting to 35 million British Pounds lying in a UK bank for the last seven decades,  belongs to the heirs of Nizam and the Government of India,  has brought cheer to the descendants of the erstwhile ruling family of Hyderabad.

With the court rejecting the claim of Pakistan that it should get the fund, the long saga has come to an end and now all eyes are on how the fund amounting to Rs 307 crore will be divided between the Nizam family and the government of India. While the court has named Prince Mukarram Jah and Prince Mufakkham Jah, grand sons of Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan as heir to the wealth, there are innumerable other grand and great grand children of Nizam who have also  been laying claim to a share of the fund.

The saga had started back in 1948 when an amount of 1 million pounds from Hyderabad state was transferred to the Westminister Bank in London to the account of then Pakistan High Commissioner to Britain Ibrahim Rahimtoola and it was meant to be sent to Pakistan as an assistance. While the money was transferred by the finance ministerof Hyderabad,  Moin Nawaz Jung, Nizam raised an objection to it saying it was done without his knowledge and approval. As a result of the dispute,  the fund in the bank account was frozen and it remained so for the last 71 years till the High Court delivered the verdict in the case on Wednesday.

The case took a new turn when Pakistan filed a counter claim to the fund against the claims of India and the Nizam which gradually grew to the 35 million pounds that it is now.

According to the sources the two grand sons of Nizam had reached an agreement with the government of India recently on how to share the fund among them in case of a favorable court order but details of the deal were not known.

Princess Isra, the former wife of Prince Mukarram Jah and his legal representative in management of his assets, welcomed the court judgment. “The family is very happy over the success in 71 long year legal fight”.

On how the money will be shared between two brothers Mukarram Jah and Mufakkham Jah, she said that it will be decided only after getting the copy of the court judgment which was expected in November.  While Prince Mukarram Jah was at the time in Istanbul, Turkey, his younger brother was in London.

But the issue is unlikely to be closed smoothly as other family members were also keen to get a share of the wealth.  Najaf Ali Khan, a great grand son of Nizam said that all the other descendants should also get their share from the fund. “I had re-activated the case in 2008 when nobody was talking about it”, he said pointing out that he had pleaded for an out of court settlement with Pakistan to save time. But Pakistan staked its claim and it led to litigation for so many years. “We are happy that the court has ruled in favor of the family”, he said.

In case of the other family members not getting a share, they were likely to knock on the doors of the court leading to further delay before the money actually reaches the beneficiaries. It also remains to be seen how much of this money goes into the coffers of government of India and how much remains for the Nizam scions.

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