London: The high court of England and Wales on Wednesday ruled in favour of India and the two descendants of the late 7th Nizam of Hyderabad, who sent £1 million to a London bank in 1948, now estimated to value at at least £35 million.
The historic case has gone through several twists and turns with India and the descendants — Mukarram Jah and Muffakham Jah — on one side and Pakistan on the other. Pakistan had claimed that the money on the ground was a payment for supplying arms to the Hyderabad state during India’s annexation in 1948.
The 7th Nizam had transferred the £1 million to the then Pakistan ambassador in London, Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola, for safe-keeping, who agreed “to keep the amount mentioned by you in my name in trust”. The amount, accruing interest over the decades, lies in the National Westminster Bank in London.
The 166-page judgement by Justice Marcus Smith sets out the history of the dispute, from India’s ‘Operation Polo’ to annex Hyderabad, and later developments that include the Nizam in 1965 ‘assigning’ the President of India the claim to the money in London.