Survey on as Rampur royals spar over assetsUpdated: Feb 12, 2020 20:07 IST
Bareilly As the court-appointed commissioners carry out a survey of Nawab Rampur’s assets, a tussle has broken out over the division of properties among the scions.
The spat within the family came out in the open for the first time on Wednesday when Khasbagh Palace resident Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan and his elder sister Nighat Abdi accused their cousin and Noor Mahal resident, Nawab Kazim Ali Khan of ‘usurping’ and secretly selling some properties.
“He (Kazim Ali) sold his share of the property to a Mumbai-based buyer in 2016 even as the decision on inheritance and distribution of assets was pending before the court,” alleged Muhammad Ali Khan and Nighat Abdi at a press conference on Tuesday.
The charge was immediately denied by Kazim Ali Khan, son of former Congress MP Begum Noor Bano and a former legislator. “This is ridiculous. I did not sell my property share to anyone. Those accusing me of doing so have apparently lost their mental balance,” he said in a scathing counter-attack on his cousins.
In July last year, the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on one of the longest civil suits related to inheritance filed by family members of the Nawab of Rampur stating that the latter’s movable and immovable properties had to be divided among the kin. This apart from 400 acres of agriculture land mainly included five assets, namely, Kothi Shahbad, Nawa Station, Benazir Bagh, Kunda and Khasbagh Palace.
“Apart from videography, we have also spoken to people who work for the family, live in the area and recorded their statement,” said Arun Prakash Saxena, the court commissioner who carried out the survey. On February 3, the survey commissioner accompanied by scions of the Nawab broke open the locks of the royal armoury with some difficulty to count the weapons kept in the family’s Khasbagh Palace.
Ruled by the Nawabs, the Rampur estate came into existence in 1774.
It was one of the first princely estates to accede to India in 1949 after Independence. Nawab Raza Ali Khan who was at the helm then was granted full ownership rights of his sprawling private properties as a reciprocal gesture by the Indian government.
The government also guaranteed succession or rulership of the estate based on the customary law under which the eldest son got the exclusive rights to property.
This succession rule, however, was challenged by the kin of Nawab Raza Ali Khan, who had three wives, three sons and six daughters from them in 1966 when his eldest son Murtaza Ali Khan succeeded him as head of the Rampur estate.