- The case pertains to $39 million that were transferred to Pakistan by the then Nizam of Hyderabad Osman Ali Khan
- Foreign Office states the ruling does not take into account the historical context of the transfer when India illegally annexed Hyderabad in violation of International Law
- India had failed to convince the court that Pakistan's position in the case was undefendable
(Karachi) Pakistan has lost the Hyderabad Fund Case after a High Court in United Kingdom ruled in favour of India, it transpired on Wednesday. The case had been under proceedings for the last couple of years.
The case pertains to $39 million that were transferred to Pakistan by the then Nizam of Hyderabad Osman Ali Khan before its forcible occupation by India. The hearing of the case commenced in 2012 when India laid claim to the money which was deposited in a bank account in the name of High Commissioner of Pakistan since September 20, 1948.
The case opened after the then High Commissioner of Pakistan Wajid Shamsul Hassan waived immunity in the matter.
Reaction on Judgment
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs took notice of the verdict and issued a statement saying, “Pakistan has taken note of the judgment by the High Courts of Justice of the UK in the Hyderabad Fund Case, today, after two weeks trial in June 2019. The judgment rejects the longstanding claims of the two major parties and upholds the claims of the heirs of Nizam of Hyderabad."
It added, “The ruling does not take into account the historical context of the transfer when India illegally annexed Hyderabad in violation of International Law and all civilized norms, leading the Nizam of Hyderabad to make desperate efforts to defend his people and the state from Indian invasion." The Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintained that the Nizam also raised the matter with the UN Security Council where the issue remains on the agenda to date. “The Nizam as a sovereign approached Pakistan for assistance which the Government of Pakistan provided."
The statement stated, “Pakistan is closely examining all aspects of the detailed judgment and will take further action in light of legal advice received."
Earlier, India failed to convince the court that Pakistan's position was undefendable and that it could show no legal entitlement to the £35 million.
The judge said there was good evidence in support of Pakistan's claim to the money, which needed to be fully considered at a trial. The judge also accepted that there were positive legal arguments which supported Pakistan's position.
The legal team from Pakistan side was led by Khawar Qureshi who presented strong legal arguments and evidences in the court.
During the proceedings, the court heard arguments by Pakistan's lead counsel and considered the evidences. In light of the proofs, India failed to assert that Pakistan's claim to the money was without a basis.
The evidence of assistance came from the official British archives, including British intelligence reports and British government documents.
However, India dismissed these materials even though they came from British intelligence sources and argued that because the Nizam of Hyderabad had asked for the return of the money within days of its transfer to Pakistan, he must not to have consented to it being handed over to Pakistan.
The judge observed that it might be naive to expect the Nizam to have been acting of his own free will after India had invaded his country, and forced him to surrender and hand over power.