Se­cond vic­tory for In­dia & Salve

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Na­tion -

On July 8, 1954, the sev­enth Nizam to­gether with the state of Hy­der­abad is­sued a writ be­fore the UK high court against Pak­istan and Rahim­toola, ask­ing for the £1 mil­lion to be re­turned to them.

On July 19, 1955, Rahim­toola got the writ set aside on the premise that the English courts were in­ter­fer­ing with Pak­istan’s sovereign im­mu­nity. The money has stayed frozen in a Bri­tish bank ac­count ever since and grown to £35 mil­lion in the span of seven decades.

It was the se­cond high­pro­file vic­tory for Har­ish Salve while rep­re­sent­ing In­dia in a case since he won a re­prieve for Kulb­hushan Jad­hav at the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice. Khawar Qureshi QC was Pak­istan’s bar­ris­ter in both cases.

“In 2013, Pak­istan felt that with the dis­tance of time, it would bring ac­tion against the bank and the bank would pay and it would walk away. But the bank said there were two other claimants — the princes and In­dia. Pak­istan is­sued a no­tice of dis­con­tin­u­ance, but we ar­gued it was against the in­ter­ests of jus­tice to with­draw and the case came back. Whether they will ap­peal, I don’t know,” Salve said af­ter the verdict.

He praised Jus­tice Marcus Smith for draw­ing up a 140-page judg­ment on such a com­plex case in just three months. The two-week trial had ended in June.

“We had a good case. We won both times,” Salve said, re­fer­ring to the ICJ verdict on Jad­hav.

“The fund was held by Pak­istan through her high com­mis­sioner in the UK on trust for Nizam VII and his suc­ces­sors in ti­tle. The fund was not held by Rahim­toola per­son­ally, nor did ei­ther Pak­istan or Rahim­toola have any ben­e­fi­cial in­ter­est in the fund,” Jus­tice Smith ruled.

Salve said: “His­to­ri­ans will be in­ter­ested in Pak­istan pub­licly ac­knowl­edg­ing it was sup­ply­ing arms. Whether to Nizam’s army or the Raza­kars mili­tia, I don’t know.”

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