Pakistan claim to Nizam’s riches in UK rejected

London/Islamabad: In a major setback for Pakistan, the UK High Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of India in a decades-old legal dispute with Islamabad over funds belonging to the Nizam of Hyderabad.

These funds -- over around 35 million pounds, today -- were deposited at the time of Partition in a London bank account.

The Nizam's descendants, Prince Mukarram Jah - the titular eighth Nizam of Hyderabad - and his younger brother Muffakham Jah, had joined hands with the Indian government in the legal battle against the Pakistan government.

In his judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Justice Marcus Smith ruled that the "Nizam VII was entitled to the Fund and those with claim in rights of Nizam VII - the Princes and India - are entitled to have the sum paid out to their order".

"Pakistan's contentions of non-justiciability by reason of the foreign act of state doctrine and non-enforceability on grounds of illegality both fail," the verdict notes.

The dispute revolves around 1,007,940 pounds and nine shillings transferred in 1948 from the then Nizam of Hyderabad to the high commissioner in Britain of the newly-formed state of Pakistan.

That amount has since grown into 35 million pounds as the Nizam's descendants, supported by India, claimed it belongs to them and Pakistan counter-claimed that it is rightfully theirs.

By Aditi Khanna and Sajjad Hussain

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