Mumbai: Fight for 53rd spiritual head of Bohra community continues

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday continued recording the testimony of Syedna Taher Fakhruddin, the claimant of the 53rd Dai-al-Multaq, the spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohra Community. He was cross-examined for the second consecutive day by his cousin – Syedna Muffaddal Saiffuddin.

Syedna Fakhruddin had deposed before a single-judge bench of Justice Gautam Patel, who is conducting a trial in the suit filed by his father Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin, seeking the court to declare him as the 53rd Dai-al-Mutlaq of the community.

In his nearly day-long cross-examination by Syenda Saiffuddin’s legal team comprising senior counsels Iqbal Chagla and Janak Dwarkadas, Syenda Fakhruddin answered several questions. The legal team asked him some basic questions as to the role of a ‘mazoon’ (deputy to Syedna) in the community.

Apart from all this, the legal team also asked him to spell out as to why did Syedna Fakhruddin and father Syenda Qutbuddin create a new website, after the death of 52nd Dai-al-Multaq – Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin. While replying to the query, Syedna Fakhruddin said, “There was no official website of the 52nd Dai and the new one was created since the existing website was under the control of defendant (Syedna Saiffuddin).”

“We created the new website to disseminate the message of my father (Syedna Qutbuddin) that he was appointed as the 53rd Dai by his predecessor,” Syedna Fakhruddin added. Apart from this, he was unable to specify if his father (Syedna Qutbuddin) ever sought legal advice before the death of 52nd Dai.

The dispute arose after the death of Dawoodi Bohra community’s spiritual head and 52nd Dai-al-Mutlaq Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. His elder son Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, had took over as the spiritual head or Dai-al-Mutlaq of the community, against the claim made by his uncle Syedna Qutbuddin, who claimed himself to be the spiritual head by virtue of being the brother and ‘mazoon’ (deputy) of the deceased Syedna Burhanuddin, for around 50 years.

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