In a judgment handed down on 21 June 2016 Mr Justice Henderson determined a series of applications and cross-applications brought by India, Prince Mukkaram Jah, Prince Muffakham Jah (“the Princes”) and Pakistan concerning beneficial ownership, act of state / non-justiciability and limitation periods applicable to claims made in resulting and constructive trust and restitution. He held that Pakistan’s pleas as to beneficial ownership and act of state and non-justiciability were not so weak that they could be struck out under CPR Part 24 but that her plea of limitation in response to trust claims advanced by India and other parties was of no merit and was liable to be struck out. The judge also held that Pakistan’s plea of limitation more broadly was arguably an abuse of process and that India had an arguable claim in unjust enrichment/restitution directly against National Westminster Bank Plc (“the Bank”). The proceedings concern funds held in an account at the Bank and previously frozen for more than 60 years pursuant to the judgment of the House of Lords in Rahimtoola v Nizam of Hyderabad  AC 379. In 2013 Pakistan had first commenced, and then discontinued, proceedings and the Bank, India and the Princes successfully applied to set aside the Notice of Discontinuance as an abuse of process on the part of Pakistan. A further hearing will be held in order for the Court to consider consequential orders in the light of the Judge’s judgment.
The full judgment can be read in the attached pdf.
Harish Salve SA and Timothy Otty QC acted for India.