‘Audio recording of nass popped up from nowhere, not reliable’
Anand Desai, the counsel for the plaintiff, stated that the audio recording was not disclosed by the defendant or any of the defence witnesses who were allegedly privy to it since June 4, 2011 till the suit was filed in the HC
MUMBAI: Syedna Taher Fakhruddin, the plaintiff in the Syedna succession case, on Wednesday refuted the claim of defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, that the 52nd Dai had conferred a valid nass on him on four occasions from 1969 to June 20, 2011, and submitted that the audio recording of the June 4, 2011 nass played before the Bombay high court earlier was not reliable.
Anand Desai, the counsel for the plaintiff, stated that the audio recording was not disclosed by the defendant or any of the defence witnesses who were allegedly privy to it since June 4, 2011 till the suit was filed in the HC. The counsel stated that the audio recording had just ‘popped up’ during the suit, and though there were witnesses to it, it still could not be relied upon as evidence due to the circumstances that prevailed after the ill-health of the 52nd Dai.
Desai informed Justice Gautam Patel that the claim of the defendant that a valid nass was conferred on him on June 4, 2011 when the 52nd Dai was admitted to hospital in London could not be relied upon for various reasons. But before delving into the events of that day, Desai recounted an incident of March 25, 2011, the 100th birthday of the 52nd Dai. As per the video recording of the event, he submitted, the Dai, after embracing the original plaintiff Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin, then embraced his brothers.
However, when it was the turn of the defendant to embrace his father, the Dai asked him to stop and started beating his chest, a mourning ritual. It was only after the Dai’s doctor requested him that the leader embraced his sons, said Desai, submitting that the Dai’s act was indicative of his dislike for his son.
The bench was told that the video of the March event as well as other audio-visual evidence that the defendant had relied upon would be played before the court on Friday to show how some of the evidence had been manipulated and misinterpreted.
Desai then sought to argue about the defendant not being trained to take over the post of the Dai either by his father, the 52nd Dai, or the 51st Dai. However, Justice Patel said that the argument could not be accepted, as there was no prescriptive methodology available for appointing a Dai. Desai agreed but added that though there were no fixed parameters for a person to be eligible for a Dai’s position, historically the appointee had to be the ‘like’ of the appointer.