UK court rejects Indian bid to strike out Pakistan’s claim
OBSERVER REPORT ISLAMABAD—Pakistan on Tuesday won a bid in the Hyderabad fund case against India. The case catered to the release of funds worth one million pounds by the Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII, the last Nizam of the state of Hyderabad to the newly formed state of Pakistan.
According to Foreign Office, the English High Court made the decision of the case in Pakistan’s favour in the 75-page judgement, which also hinted towards the effectiveness of the strategy adopted regarding the dealing of the case by the Pakistani legal team. The value of the monies had increased from an initial amount of a million pounds, named in 1948, to thirtyfive million pounds during current times.
India adopted the stance that Pakistan’s claim to the 35 million pounds present in a bank account and named to the Pakistani High Commission since September 20, 1948, was not valid however the judge believed that there was quite some evidence that supported Pakistan’s claim to the monies entitled by the Nizam of Hyderabad.
The judge made the decision in Pakistan’s favour whilst noting that the circumstances in 1947-48 were tense and that attempts were made by India to curb supply of food and medicine to the State of Hyderabad in order to persuade the Nizam to join India.
The case shall now proceed to trial unless settled between both neighbouring countries. The Foreign Office stated that Pakistan offered to mediate the case in July 2015 in front of retired Law Lords but India refused the offer claiming that Pakistan’s stance was not a valid one.
FO noted that Pakistan intends to resolve all disputes through negotiations, further adding that if the particular case does not get settled then the country is utmost confident that its legal team shall prevail.
India, which would now face a substantial costs claim after losing its applications, had argued that Pakistan’s claim to the money was not valid.
After hearing the arguments put forward by Pakistan’s legal team, the judge considered the evidence that “India and Princes could not assert that Pakistan’s claim to the monies was without basis”.
According to The Times of India, the Hyderabad Fund was a transfer of GBP 1,007,940 and 9 shillings to a London bank account in the name of Pakistan’s first High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola, at the Westminster Bank in 1948.
The money was transferred to Rahimtoola by an agent who was acting on behalf of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, the TOI reported.
When India and Pakistan were being formed as sovereign states in 1947, there were several princely states too, which were given a choice by the United Kingdom to join either of the two new states or remain independent.
Nizam had decided to remain independent but Hyderabad was annexed to India on September 18, 1948.
On September 20, 1948, the money was transferred to Rahimtoola, and seven days later on September 27, Nizam “sought to reverse the transfer claiming that it had been made without his authority”.
The Foreign Office, in its statement, said the events in 1947-48 were very tense.