In an intriguing twist to the long tale of public dispute involving the ex-royalty of Hyderabad state, it is learnt that Niloufer, daughter of Prince Mukarram Jah, is entitled to a neat Rs 4 crore which is lying with the Nizam’s Jewellery Trust.
Both Manolya Onur, the third ex-wife of Prince Mukarram Jah, the incumbent titular Nizam, and her daughter Niloufer are fighting for ownership rights over the sprawling Chiran Palace located in KBR National Park, Jubilee Hills, and the $3 million divorce settlement ordered by the family court in Hyderabad. Their claims have been challenged by the former prince in the high court which is yet to hear the case.
In the meantime, sources in the Nizam’s Jewellery Trust revealed that the Prince Mukarram Jah Fund within the Trust is sitting pretty on around Rs 22 crore. This amount, according to the trust deed, has to be distributed among Prince Mukarram Jah’s children. Now that Niloufer is an adult she can claim the money. As far as the Trust is concerned, it has no reservation in giving away the money on completion of some formalities, the sources said.
The government of India bought Nizam’s jewellery for Rs 206 crore in January 1995.
One of the shares of the trust money over the time grew to Rs 118 crore which was distributed among 1,800 beneficiaries belonging to the ‘House of Asaf Jahs’ in 2002.
While the entire money from the sale of jewellery had been distributed, the amount with the Prince Mukarram Jah Fund has remained with the Trust. The Trust transfers between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 30 lakh to a Delhi-based bank identified by the prince every two to three months, the sources added.
Vijay Shankar Das, Prince Mukarram Jah’s lawyer, conceded about the existence of the fund and said that three other children of the prince have signed the papers to withdraw the money. His daughter Niloufer is yet to put her signature on the documents. “Once she signs the papers, the money can be withdrawn and distributed among all of them,” he said.
Of the total fund money, two sons of the prince, Mir Azmat Ali Khan and Mir Alexander Azam Ali Khan, would get two parts each, while daughters Shahkyar and Niloufer, one share each. Once the money is withdrawn, the saga of Nizam’s Jewellery Trust might come to an end. But the legal battle between the father, Manolya and Niloufer may continue, sources said. TOI – Mir Ayoob Ali Khan