Salar Jung

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Sir Salar Jung III

Property dispute


Dhananjay Mahapatra, January 26, 2021: The Times of India

bb Swiftly decide Salar Jung case, oldest civil suit: SC

One suit was pending since 1952, over division of assets and properties between the descendants of Salar Jung III of Hyderabad. It began three years after the death of Nawab Mir Yousuf A H Khan, popularly known as Sir Salar Jung III. Since then, the sprawling private properties and a big ‘jagir’ left behind by him have been mired in endless litigation.

Shortly after the Nawab’s death in 1949, the Salar Jung Estate Administration Regulation was enacted, empowering the government to appoint a committee consisting of not more than five people to be called the Salar Jung Estate Committee for the purpose of administration of the estate. The HC had ruled that the committee was not the proper forum for adjudicating the various questions that arose from the Nawab’s succession case.

Meanwhile, Parliament enacted the Nawab Salar Jung Bahadur Administration of Assets Act, 1950, vesting all assets of the Nawab in the Salar Jung Estate Committee. Many suits were filed in the civil court. The HC withdrew all suits to itself in 1958 to which the Union government, the Hyderabad government and the Salar Jung Estate Committee were made parties. The suit ended in a compromise between all parties in 1959.

This decree was challenged by many descendants on the ground that the parties to the suit had no manner of right or claim to the properties in the litigation and that the compromise itself was obtained in collusion. The litigation restarted and continued at a snail’s pace.

Justice Ramasubramanian, who had dealt with the matter while a judge of Telangana HC, described the three pending civil suits as “notorious” and said the number of descendants had probably crossed 300 by now, making it more difficult for a decision on division of property.

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