Sat06242017

Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

David Sawtell reports on a recent case concerning a steadfast notice of discontinuance

The story began on 20 September 1948, in the year following the partition of the Indian subcontinent. Two days previously the newly formed sovereign state of India had forced the surrender of the army of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad as part of Operation Polo, its successful campaign to annex the princely state. On that day the Nizam transferred just over £1m into a bank account in the name of the first High Commissioner of Pakistan. The bank was the Westminster Bank Ltd, which was later to become the National Westminster Bank plc (NatWest). Thus began years of legal wrangling over the legal and beneficial title to the money. Despite the best efforts of the current High Commissioner of Pakistan to discontinue a new claim, the renewed action must go on; thus held Henderson J in High Commissioner for Pakistan in theUnited Kingdom v National Westminster Bank plc [2015].

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