The properties under contention include Falaknuma Palace, King Kothi Palace, Chow Mahalla Palace and Purani Haveli in Hyderabad.

A file photo of Hyderabad Nizam Mir Osman Ali KhanMir Osman Ali Khan. Image: Wikimedia Commons
news Controversy Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - 12:40

Najaf Ali Khan, the grandson of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, has approached a city court challenging Prince Mukarram Jah's claim of being the sole owner of five properties, including famous palaces belonging to the last ruler of erstwhile Hyderabad state. He has termed "totally baseless" and "erroneous" the claim of Prince Mukkaram Jah to be the sole owner of Falaknuma Palace, King Kothi Palace/Nazri Bagh, Chow Mahalla Palace, Purani Haveli in Hyderabad and Harewood Cedars Bungalow at Udhagamandalam (Ooty) in Tamil Nadu.

Najaf Ali Khan, who has filed a case in this regard in the City Civil Court, sought partition and separate possession with metes and bounds. Najaf Ali Khan pointed out in his suit that after Hyderabad State got integrated into India on January 25, 1950 an Instrument of Accession was entered into between the Government of India and Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur Nizam VII. By virtue of this agreement, the listed private and personal properties belonging to the Nizam VII were approved, declared and acknowledged by the Union of India to be the private and personal properties of Nizam VII.

The properties which were entered in the list were still in existence at the time of the death of Nizam VII on February 24, 1967. After his death, it was supposed to devolve upon his 16 sons and 18 daughters, he argued. According to Najaf Ali Khan, in 1957, Nizam VII gifted the five properties to Prince Mukkaram Jah through gift deeds. At that time Mukarram Jah was not present in India.

He claimed that Prince Mukkaram Jah later executed a document informing Nizam VII that he came to know about the execution of the gift deeds in his favour but expressed his unwillingness to accept the gift for the reasons that he was unsure of his future and considered himself incapable to maintain the gifted properties with the meagre income that he had.

Prince Mukkaram Jah orally gifted the above said properties back to the Nizam VII and he himself executed a memorandum acknowledging the oral gift, claimed Najaf Ali Khan. He alleged that Prince Mukkaram Jah, even after knowing well that he is not the absolute owner of the above said properties and that he has returned them back to the original owner Nizam VII, has continued to act pretentiously like the sole owner of these properties.

Through his advocates, he has deprived the other family members of their legitimate rights and shares and also misguided common public and government authorities, Najaf Ali Khan said. He urged the authorities not to register the properties in full or part as the matter is subjudice regarding sole ownership.

Mohammed Adnan Shaheed, one of the lawyers of Najaf Ali Khan, said the legal heirs of Nizam VII have been deprived of their legitimate share and have been kept in dark by Prince Mukkaram Jah by suppressing the oral gift made by him in favour of Nizam VII.

This is not the first time that Najaf Ali Khan has laid claim to the Nizam’s wealth. In November last year, he filed a complaint with police in Hyderabad against some of his relatives alleging that they submitted false and fabricated documents to claim 35 million pounds belonging to the Nizam lying in a bank in Britain.

In October 2019, a UK court had ruled in favour of India and the Nizam's legal heirs while dismissing Pakistan's claim over the funds belonging to the late Nizam that were deposited in a London bank account, settling a 70-year legal dispute.

Read: Hyd Nizam's grandson files complaint against kin over £35 million fund in UK bank

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