Rampur Royal Family Dispute: Everything You Need To Know About The Rs 2,664 Million Rampur Royal Family Dispute | India News
Last week, in their submissions to the Rampur district and session judge, the court-appointed commissioners presented their estimates of assets belonging to the last Nawab of Rampur. The court will now hold daily hearings to meet the December deadline the Supreme Court had set for the division of property between the plaintiffs.
Here is a brief history of the royal family and the dispute.
Warrior clan for Rampur royalty
Rampur State was founded by Nawab Ali Muhammad Khan, adopted son and successor of Sardar Daud Khan, chief of the Rohillas in North India.
At the time of his death in the late 18th century, he divided his territories equally among his many sons with Faizu’llah Khan, his second son, welcoming those around Rampur and Chachait.
Over the next two centuries, the royalty of Rampur, once a clan at war, took deep roots and, with the blessing of the British, began to build one of the richest principalities in the country.
Accession to India
Raza Ali Khan, who became the Nawab in 1930, inherited the energetic and modern Dewan from his father, Colonel Zaidi. Together, they expanded industrialization with impressive speed. Ten years after Nawab’s succession, the canal system was vastly expanded, electrification projects were completed, roads, sanitation systems, and schools were built, and factories and industries sprang up everywhere.
The Nawab was also the first to access India after independence in 1949 on the condition that two things did not change: ownership of property and the right of birthright.
When Raza Ali Khan died in 1966, he had three wives, three sons, and six daughters. His eldest son, Murtaza Ali Khan, succeeded him and the government recognized him as the sole heir to all his father’s private properties and issued a certificate to that effect.
Murtaza’s brother, Zulfiquar Ali Khan, married to former Lok Sabha member Noor Bano Begum, contested this in court. This was the genesis of the property dispute in which the courts were asked to decide whether the inheritance should be based on Muslim personal law or the unique gaddi system that the royal family followed before joining the Indian Union. The case has entered its 48th year.
In July 2019, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Muslim personal law that recognized all sons and daughters as legal heirs. This totaled up to 16 descendants. The CV set a December 2020 deadline to resolve the dispute.
But even as a government-supervised audit of the palaces, weapons, vehicles and jewelry is being conducted, there are five new plaintiffs: descendants of Nawab’s younger sister, Nawabzadi Kulsoom Begum or Nanhi Begum.
Harsh Gupta, the lawyer for the late Zulfiquar Ali Khan’s family, says that no one except the legal heirs of Nawab Raza Ali Khan has the right to claim the property.