Hyderabad: Fed up
with alleged harassment by the income tax department, members of
the family of the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad are planning
protests in Delhi during the budget session of parliament starting
At the centre of the row is Rs.8.99 crore ($1.8 million) tax dues
being demanded by the income tax department from 120 family
members who were beneficiaries of the proceeds from the sale of
the fabulous jewellery of seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, said
to be the richest man of his time.
The Indian government had acquired the jewellery for Rs.206 crore
With their repeated representations, including one to Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee, failing to yield results, the
descendants of the seventh and last ruler of the erstwhile
princely state of Hyderabad want to take the issue to the national
"The way we are being tortured, it hurts me like anything. Now I
am fed up with all their tricks. The parliament session is
starting now. Let the people in Delhi see how the Nizam's family
is being taken care of by the income tax department," the Nizam's
grandson, Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, told IANS.
While the department continues to send notices for Rs.8.99 crore,
the Nizam's family members claim they have paid all the taxes till
1995 and are ready for reconciliation in case there are any
arrears. They, however, reject the figure of Rs.8.99 crore as
"Fifteen years have passed. Will this litigation go on lifelong?"
asked Najaf, who is president of the Nizam Family Welfare
"It is a deliberate attempt not to give a refund to the family. If
you set the house in order, the matter can be solved in one day,"
Giving a detailed account of the dispute, he said the tax
department raised a total demand of Rs.30.50 crore towards income
tax and wealth tax in 1995. The family paid Rs.15.45 crore as
arrears for 1992-93 and another Rs.15.05 crore was kept as a lien
under the department in a bank.
The IT department released refunds of Rs.4.39 crore to the family
in 2004 and another Rs.66 lakh in 2006. This left Rs.8.66 crore in
the bank, which remains under lien pending final settlement.
It was in 2006 that the department sent a notice demanding Rs.8.99
crore tax arrears.
"My question is simple. Why did you release the amount (from the
lien) when there were tax arrears?" asked Najaf.
Terming the tax demand as inflated, the family moved the Andhra
Pradesh High Court, which directed in August 2006 that all matters
relating to the case be resolved in eight weeks.
"Initially they (the department) started reconciliation in five
cases in which they had shown tax arrears in the court but they
ended up paying refund in three of these cases and hence stopped
the process," claimed Najaf.
The family has once again dragged the tax department to the high
court by filing a contempt of court petition as court orders were
not implemented even after five and a half years.
Najaf claims even his meeting with the finance minister himself in
August 2010 failed to yield any results as the income tax
authorities never sent a report to the Central Board of Direct
Taxes (CBDT) as directed by Mukherjee.
Najaf, 47, said most of the family members are elderly people,
suffering from various ailments. "Some are in a distressed
condition and don't even have money for their livelihood," he
"We don't want any favour from the income tax department or help
from anybody. We only want the law to be made applicable so that
justice is done to us," adds the scion of the royal family.
The seventh Nizam had 16 sons and 18 daughters, and of them two
sons and three daughters are still alive. There are a total of 104
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)