Bombay HC: Syedna's succession hearing concludes

Bombay HC: Syedna's succession hearing concludes 

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As per the media sources, in a case involving Mufaddal Saifuddin, the defendant and Taher Fakhruddin, the plaintiff, the Bombay High Court completed the hearing on Wednesday 5 April, 2023, and reserved its decision.

After the demise of Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, the 52nd Dai-al-Mutlaq (Head Priest of the Dawoodi Bohra Community) in 2014, his son Mufaddal Saifuddin donned the role of the new Dai-ul-Mutlaq. As per reports, the Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin's half-brother Khuzaima Qutbuddin challenged this in the HC. Khuzaima Qutbuddin (father of Taher Fakhruddin and the original plaintiff) passed away in the United States in 2016 and after subsequently his son Taher Fakhruddin has laid claim to the position of Syedna (or Dai-ul-Mutlaq).

The case is being heard in the court of Justice Gautam S. Patel and since November 2022, has been in preparation for closure. As per media reports, Fakhruddin claims that because his father bestowed the "Nass" upon him, he should be recognised as the Dai.  Due to lack in witnesses, Senior advocates Iqbal Chagla, Janak Dwarkadas, and Fredun Devitre made their argument for Saifuddin that the claimed original Nass from 1965 in Khuzaima Qutbuddin's name is invalid. 

As per the sources, they argued that as per established and prevalent doctrines of the Dawoodi Bohra faith, Nass could be changed and revoked. The defendant also contended that even if Nass had been conferred on the original plaintiff in 1965, as per the doctrinal belief of the community, only the last Nass would be valid, therefore Mufaddal Saifuddin was the rightfull heir to the position of Syedna. The counsel for Mufaddal Saifuddin also questioned Qutbuddin's silence between June 2011 and January 2014 on the appointment of the Syedna.

Sources: The Indian Express

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