UK court rules in India's favour against Pakistan in Hyderabad funds case

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Updated: Oct 02, 2019, 07:21 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Pakistan had claimed the funds were transferred as payments for arms shipments during the rebellion in the state or as an outright gift.

The UK high court on Wednesday ruled in favour of India and heirs of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad in the 70-year-old case. 

The case "High Commissioner for Pakistan in the UK v Prince Mukkaram Jah & others’ or referred as "Hyderabad fund case" pertains to £35 million funds that are being held by the National Westminster Bank in London. India and the heir of the last Nizam of Hyderabad will get 306 crore, that is  Rs 45,80,500

"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. I will leave it to the parties to frame an appropriate form of order for my approval" the judgement handed out by Justice Marcus Smith said.

On September 20, 1948, the foreign minister of the then princely state of Hyderabad, Nawab Moin Nawaz Jung, transferred  £1,007,940, which is today's equivalent of £35 million to the account of Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola, the Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK.

Pakistan claimed the funds were transferred as payments for arms shipments during the rebellion in the state or as an outright gift. The High Court held that "beneficial ownership" of the funds lay with the seventh Nizam concluding that India and the two grandsons of Nizam were now entitled to have the fund. 

Khawar Qureshi, Pakistan's lawyer at International Court of Justice(ICJ) for Kulbhushan Jadhav case was one of the lawyers in the Hyderabad fund case.

The ministry of external affairs in a statement said: "The court rejected arguments advanced by Pakistan that the dispute was non-justiciable, either in whole or in part; that the doctrine of illegality somehow barred recovery; or that the claims of other parties were time-barred." 

The case first came to focus in 1954 when Pakistan asserted its sovereignty since money was sent into the account of its then High Commissioner Rahimtoola. In 2013, Pakistan commenced the present proceedings but waved off the sovereignty or state immunity to claim ownership. These were against the bank for payment of the fund to Pakistan.

A dejected Pakistan has reacted saying it is "examining all aspects of the detailed judgment and will take further action in light of legal advice received."

Pakistan had put up an application to discontinue the proceedings it had initiated in June 2013 but it was dismissed by the High Court of Justice in London in 2015. The court ordered Islamabad to pay India the sum of 150,000 pounds towards legal costs it incurred to defeat Pakistan’s application.

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