Bombay HC Likely To Pronounce Its Verdict Today In Suit Challenging Syedna Muffadal Saifuddin's Position As Head Of Dawoodi Bohra Community

Bombay HC Likely To Pronounce Its Verdict Today In Suit Challenging Syedna Muffadal Saifuddin's Position As Head Of Dawoodi Bohra Community

The late Syedna's halfbrother, Khuzaima Qutbuddin, had challenged the succession in the Bombay HC. He sought a declaration that he was the leader of the community based on a secret 'nass' (conferment of succession) by the deceased leader on December 10, 1965.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 09:21 AM IST
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Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin |

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court is likely to pronounce its verdict in the suit challenging Syedna Muffadal Saifuddin's position as the 'Da'i al-Mutlaq' spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohra community -- on Tuesday. Justice Gautam Patel, who concluded the trial, had reserved the order on April 5, 2023. The court had begun the final, day-to-day hearings in the suit in November 2022. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, the 52nd Da’i al-Mutlaq, passed away in 2014 and his son, Mufaddal Saifuddin, succeeded him.

The late Syedna's halfbrother, Khuzaima Qutbuddin, had challenged the succession in the Bombay HC. He sought a declaration that he was the leader of the community based on a secret 'nass' (conferment of succession) by the deceased leader on December 10, 1965. He claimed that the late Syedna had asked him to keep the private ceremony a secret. He claimed that he had abided by the oath of secrecy given to him by the 52nd head till his death.

It was only after his nephew took over as the Da'i alMutlaq did he announce the nass conferred on him in 1965, based on which he had pronounced himself to be the rightful 53rd head of the community.

Qutubuddin's Allegations Against Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin

Qutbuddin also sought entry to Saifi Manzil, the house of the Syedna in Mumbai, alleging that Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin had taken over the leadership role in a fraudulent manner.

Qutbuddin died in 2016 in the USA. Since then, his son, Syedna Taher Fakhruddin, is the plaintiff, and he is now seeking that he be declared the leader by the HC. Fakhruddin has claimed his father conferred the nass upon him and thus he should be declared the head of the community.

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin opposed the suit, claiming that the nass of 1965 lacked witnesses and was unacceptable. He further contended that as per established and prevalent doctrines of the Dawoodi Bohra faith, the nass could be changed and revoked. He further contended that the 52nd Dai had conferred nass on Syedna Saifuddin in the presence of witnesses at the Bupa Cromwell hospital in London on June 4, 2011, where he was admitted after suffering a stroke. Thirteen witnesses deposed on his behalf.

The nass on Saifuddin was reaffirmed publicly during an event in Mumbai on June 20, 2011, and hence, there could be no doubts about the appointment of Saifuddin as the 53rd Dai of the Dawoodi Bohra community after the demise of the 52nd head. Even if nass had been conferred on Qutubbin in 1965, as per the doctrinal belief of the community, only the latest nass would be valid.

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