Indian royals win $43 million in dispute over bank deposit from 1948

The Nizam of Hyderabad pictured in around 1940, eight years before he transferred the funds.

(CNN)The High Court in London has decided that a deposit left untouched in a British bank account since 1948 is the rightful property of the descendants of the monarch who transferred it -- and not Pakistan.

The Nizam of Hyderabad ruled over his independent state from 1911 until 1948, when the Indian Army invaded it.
The partition that accompanied the end of British rule had established India and Pakistan as two independent states the previous year, and the Nizam had resisted joining either.
    Just days after his state's annexation, he transferred £1 million ($1.23 million) to an account with an English bank, which is now part of NatWest bank, held under the name of the then High Commissioner of newly-formed Pakistan. With added interest, it is now worth £35 million ($43.1 million).
    A legal dispute over its ownership started when the Nizam tried unsuccessfully to recover the money shortly afterwards, and only ended with Wednesday's judgement some seven decades later.
    The Nizam's heirs, as well as India and Pakistan, had all claimed the fortune as theirs.
    The case was heard by the House of Lords, the then supreme court in Britain, in 1957. However, the dispute stalled when the judges accepted Pakistan's assertion of sovereign state immunity, as reported by the UK's PA news agency.
    Pakistan waived this right in 2013 by launching a claim against NatWest, which said it would give the deposit to whoever the court ordered.
    On Wednesday, the judge, Mr. Justice Marcus Smith decided it should go to the grandsons of the Nizam. In a ruling reported by PA, he concluded the Nizam's "motivation" was to "keep the fund away from India -- to safeguard it."
    A letter to Pakistan's then High Commission from Hyderabad's finance minister was used as evidence. It asked for the amount to be "kindly kept... in trust" so that the interests of the state could be safeguarded.
    Philip Barden, a partner at Devonshires law firm, who represente