‘52nd Dai did not confer nass on defendant’
The plaintiff’s counsel referred to the sermon in February 2014 wherein the defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin had said that though the doctors said that the 52nd Dai could not speak, due to his position and divine grace, the leader had conferred nass on him
MUMBAI: As the long battle for the title of Syedna enters its 40th hearing at the Bombay high court (HC), the proceedings inch closer towards declaring the rightful supreme spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community.
The counsel for the plaintiff made a conclusive statement at the court that ‘the 52nd Dai had not conferred nass on the defendant either on June 4 or 20, 2011 and the appointment was only attributed to him.’ The senior counsel for the plaintiff while dislodging the claim of the defendant and other defence witnesses, reiterated that the audio recording of June 4, 2011 nass was not made on that day.
The plaintiff’s counsel referred to the sermon in February 2014 wherein the defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin had said that though the doctors said that the 52nd Dai could not speak, due to his position and divine grace, the leader had conferred nass on him. The bench was told that by his words in the sermon, the defendant had corroborated their claim that as per medical records, the 52nd Dai was incapacitated to converse let alone confer a nass due to the stroke.
In light of this and the fact that on June 20, 2011, as well, the 52nd Dai was disoriented, no nass was conferred on the defendant.
The single judge of justice Gautam Patel who conducted the trial in the declaratory suit filed by Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin after whose demise in 2016 his son Syedna Taher Fakhruddin had continued the suit and was informed by senior counsel Anand Desai that no nass was conferred on the defendant after the 52nd Dai had been affected by the stroke on June 1, 2011.
Desai played out the video of the Urus event on June 20, 2011 at Raudat Tahera which the 52nd Dai had insisted on attending and was brought through an air ambulance from London on June 17, 2011. Desai pointed out from the video that it was very obvious that the leader was disoriented and was speaking intermittently. The bench was shown the parts wherein Dr Moiz Nooruddin was trying to interpret what the leader was saying and was also saying words which were not said by the leader.
The senior counsel further stressed on the fact that even while the defendant was in front of the 52nd Dai and Dr Nooruddin was trying to urge the leader to say the name of the defendant, the Dai was uttering “Mohammad”, “Mohammad naam che na?” (the name is Mohammad, right?). The bench was also told that throughout the event the 52nd Dai did not recognise the defendant and Dr Nooruddin kept trying to prompt the leader to say the name of the defendant.
Desai, however, told the court that at no place had the 52nd Dai said that he was conferring nass on the defendant and only said, “Mufaddal bhai ne nass nu taj” and left the sentence at that, however, Dr Nooruddin tried to make the leader say the name of the defendant. Desai placed the deposition of Abdul Qadir Nooruddin who confirmed that the leader was saying Mohammad.
The senior counsel submitted that though the event was to commemorate the death anniversary of the 51st Dai, at no time did Dr Nooruddin who was managing and interpreting the words of the 52nd Dai mentioned the name of the deceased leader as his focus was only on getting the 52nd Dai to name the defendant as the successor, which did not happen. Thus, it was proved that no nass took place on June 20, 2011.
Thereafter, Desai referred to the audio recording of the purported nass conferred on June 4, 2011 and said that as Abdul Qadir Nooruddin had not provided the phone on which he had done the audio recording, no forensic evidence could be led. On a query by the court, Desai said that the audio placed before the court was not of the hospital on the said day and could have been prepared afterwards.
Desai, justified the plaintiff’s claim stating that if the audio recording was of nass it was important but it was neither played or mentioned in the three years when the 52nd Dai was alive nor when the original plaintiff claimed that he was the Dai based on the 1965 appointment. Desai submitted that copies of the audio were also not circulated and it was played only in April, 2014 after the demise of the 52nd Dai when the suit was filed.