August 31, 2001
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Nizam's descendant faces unpaid
wages charge in Aussie court

Paritosh Parasher in Sydney

Even as an exhibition of the stupendous jewellery collection of the erstwhile Nizams of Hyderabad is on in New Delhi, their direct descendant will be facing charges of unpaid wages in an Australian court.

Helen Tilden, a former personal assistant of Mukarram Jah, grandson of the seventh and last Nizam Osman Ali Khan, has sued him in a Perth court for not paying her wages. The case would come up for hearing on September 7.

Perth lawyer Paul Kennard expects to get Australian $ 50,000, including interest, for his client, also known as Helen Black, from Jah, who now spends most of his time in Turkey.

Helen Tilden, who is employed with some other Perth firm now, is seeking unpaid wages, entitlements and termination payment from Prince Jah, as he is known in Australia.

According to Perth's Sunday Times newspaper, Helen has been involved in the legal battle with her employer for four years. The case between the Perth divorcee and her regal employer was so far being contested in closed court hearings.

In spite of his lawyers' positive hopes, Jah, who is said to be a reclusive but colourful character, is unlikely to attend court proceedings September 7.

Jah, 68, has been moving in and out of western Australia for 21 years. Jah, who has married five times, had moved to Turkey after the death of his Australian wife and mother of his two sons, Helen Simmons, in 1989.

He reportedly did not attended court during a bitter custody war for his two sons with his sister-in-law, who was granted custody of the children.

Jah reportedly left his mansion in Australia in 1996 because of his depleting financial fortunes without notifying his personal assistant, who was otherwise his constant companion on his tours in Australia and overseas, the report said.

It said Jah, grandson of a man who was once one of the world's wealthiest men, lost control over his west Perth mansion due to a financial crisis. He also reportedly lost control over a sprawling 202,000 hectares Murchison sheep station for the same reason. The value of the property went down further as it became subject to native title claims by local aborigines.

Jah is reported to be the owner of seven palaces in India and has assets worth hundreds of million dollars, most of which are caught up in numerous legal battles being fought by him with other Nizam descendants and the Indian government.

He moved to Australia after reportedly facing financial setbacks while fighting court battles for the Nizam's jewellery collection.

After a series of legal wrangles, the Indian government took over the ownership of the massive collection after paying $ 47 million to the Nizam's heirs in 1995. But the amount has become a subject of more legal suits amongst the direct and indirect descendants of the Nizam, whose forefathers had ruled a large region of present day Andhra Pradesh.

Jah has been living off money provided by a family trust in 1954. He now lives in Turkey with his fifth wife, Princess Orchedi.

Indo-Asian News Service

Nizam's famed jewels set to dazzle Delhi
Nizam's jewels to be displayed in Hyderabad

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