New Delhi: In yet another victory for India, the British High Court on Wednesday upheld New Delhi’s claims on the rights over the wealth of the last Nizam of Hyderabad, worth GBP 35 million, saying Pakistan has “no stake in the claim” in this 70-year-old case.
Pakistan had repeatedly claimed rights on the Nizam’s wealth being held by London’s National Westminster Bank.
The wealth had been deposited in the account of the High Commissioner of Pakistan to London. Rahimat Ullah, since September 1948. It had been the subject of earlier legal proceedings in the 1950s which the House of Lords set aside.
In 2013, Pakistan commenced fresh proceedings, thereby waiving state immunity it claimed earlier. A subsequent attempt by Pakistan to discontinue the proceedings was rejected as an abuse of process by the Court.
The Court has now ruled in favour of India after analyzing documentation going back to more than 70 years and embracing the law of constructive and resulting trusts, unjust enrichment, foreign act of state, illegality and limitation of actions.
The Court rejected arguments put forward 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 Court held that Pakistan’s pleading of limitation was an “abuse of process”, and that remedies in trust law and restitution were available against both Pakistan and the Bank.