Nizam in palace row with ex-wife
Hyderabad, Mar 22: The Nizams of Hyderabad are back in the news. This time it is a legal tangle over the possession of Chiran Palace in Jubilee Hills with its repertoire of Rolls Royce cars and rich furnishings.
Mukarram Jah, the VIII Nizam of Hyderabad, is embroiled in a legal controversy over a divorce settlement with his estranged wife and former Miss Turkey, Manolya Onur who wanted the palace as alimony.
The opulent palace was built by the Nizam on 400 acres of land in the 1960s. Over the years, most of the land was taken over by the Forest Department and converted into a national park.
Presently, the palace is located right inside the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy Park in Jubilee Hills. The government wants to extend the park into the private property.
The palace has many Rolls Royces. The present value of the land and other valuables has been estimated to be worth around Rs 300 crore. It also contains clothes and personal belongings of Manolya Onur and her daughter by Mukarram Jah, Niloufer, sources said.
This is the place where Manolya lived for some time after she married the Nizam in 1989. She was his third wife. At the time, Mukarram was about 58 years old while Manolya was 36.
Though the marriage was not performed by the official Qazi, it was declared official. Nawab Habeeb Jung, a close associate of the Nizam's family, performed the nikah.
Now, more than 15 years later, Jung does not remember how much money Mukarram committed to Manolya as 'mehr.' The Nizam entered into the divorce settlement at Geneva in the mid 1990s. The triple talaaq was given over phone soon after he married a 22-year-old Moroccan girl.
The Nizam now lives at a seaside resort in Turkey while Manolya is in Istanbul with her daughter. She has been pursuing her alimony issue for the last nine years.
Now, Manolya is fighting for a divorce settlement in the family court here. Sources said the Nizam had decided to give away the palace and six acre of land to the Forest Department.
In return, he would be given six acre in the same area by the Forest Department. Officials confirmed the deal.
On March 20, the divorce settlement came up again in the family courts. Though the divorce came through over a decade ago, the settlement agreement, given up as lost, surfaced in the High Court Registry. The agreement spells out the 'Mehr' and maintenance money the Nizam must pay his former wife and their daughter. It will now be available to the family court at the next hearing tomorrow.