Rampur’s 47-year-old property dispute gets a twist, five new claimants demand share in property
The petitioners have argued that as per the Sharia Laws, they are also entitled for equal share in the property worth more than a thousand crore
A new twist came last week after a pause of almost a year in the 47-year-long legal battle of inheritance in the property of the Rampur Nawab, when five individuals from the Nawab’s family moved Rampur civil court demanding their share in the property.
Following the petition that was filed by Mehrunnisa Begum, her daughter Shehrut Ali, her son Salaman Ali Khan, Sanam Ali khan, Saira Ali Khan, and Shawar Ali Khan, the civil court has issued summons to 19 people including former Congress MP Noor Bano.
The petitioners have argued that as per the Sharia Laws, they are also entitled for equal share in the property worth more than a thousand crore.
Even as a government-monitored audit of the palaces, guns, vehicles and jewellery is going on, the five new claimants said that they are the descendants of the Nawab’s youngest sister, Nawabzadi Kulsoom Begum or Nanhi Begum. Therefore, they say, they must also be given their share as per the Muslim laws.
They had tried to obtain a stay on the property division, but their plea was turned down by a district court. They now plan to move Supreme Court for a stay while also trying to establish their rights as descendants at a civil court in Rampur. The next hearing of the case will be held on September 11.
After a long legal battle spanning nearly five decades the apex court had in 2019 ruled that property of the erstwhile Nawab be divided among 16 court-identified descendents.
Ruled by the Nawabs of Rampur, the state came into existence on October 7, 1774. It stayed under the British protection till Independence and became the first princely state to accede to India in 1949 after Independence.
The last Nawab, Raza Ali Khan, died in 1966. He had three wives, three sons and six daughters. As per the “accesssion treaty” signed with the government of India, his eldest son Murtaza Ali Khan succeeded him as head of the state. The government recognised him as the sole inheritor of all his father’s private properties and issued a certificate to this effect.
However, his brother challenged this in the civil court. Thus began the longest royal property dispute in India. The SC had set December 2020 as the deadline to resolve the dispute.
Published: 12 Oct 2020, 3:18 PM