HC questions plaintiff and defendant on silence of nass conferred on them
While the defence counsel was asked why the original plaintiff, Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin, had remained silent after June 4, 2011, when news of nass being conferred on the defendant was announced, defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin was asked about his silence from 2009
Mumbai: The Bombay high court bench on the 16th day of the final hearing questioned both the plaintiff and the defendant on their silence after being aware of nass being conferred on them.
While the defence counsel was asked why the original plaintiff, Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin, had remained silent after June 4, 2011, when news of nass being conferred on the defendant was announced, defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin was asked about his silence from 2009 when his father, the 52nd Dai, showed him the notebook wherein the nass of 1969 had been recorded.
Senior defence counsel Janak Dwarkadas commenced arguments by stating that the plaintiffs were questioning the veracity of the defence witnesses and documents that proved the nass rather than challenging the nass itself, as it would imply that the 52nd Dai was fallible.
The senior counsel drew this conclusion since the plaintiff had remained silent when the Zaat al Noor risala (treatise) of the 52nd Dai was released along with a risala of the 51st Dai on August 19, 2011. The risala of the 52nd Dai had mentioned the nass conferred upon the defendant in 2005 and 1969 and was released in his presence as well as that of the original plaintiff who was the maazoon (second in command). Dwarkadas submitted that after the suit was filed, the plaintiff in his skeletal arguments had said that he was unaware of the contents of the risala at the time.
When the court asked the plaintiff to explain his silence thereafter, senior counsel Anand Desai stated that another document was also released, the contents of which did not conform to the contents of the 52nd Dai’s risala. Desai assured the court that he would deal with it during the rejoinder.
When the court asked Dwarkadas the reason behind the June 2011 disclosure of the nass done in 1969 and 2005, which the 52nd Dai had told the witnesses to announce only after his demise, the senior counsel stated that it was done on the instructions of the 52nd Dai.
Dwarkadas then debunked the claim of the plaintiff that he was unaware of the nass conferred on the defendant in 1969 and 2005. The bench was informed that in an audio recording of June 4, 2011, the daughter of the original plaintiff had told him of the nass conferred on the defendant. In the same recording, Shehzada Qaid Johar was also heard mentioning an earlier nass being conferred on the defendant.
The HC, while cautioning both sides regarding the disclosures they made in the case, said that he would decide the case only in light of Section 114 and 115 of the Evidence Act. “The issue of nass is a matter of faith,” he said. “It is not for me to tell someone that their faith is right or wrong, as there is nothing like right or wrong in faith. I do not want to unwittingly be part of acrimony in the community. Whatever the outcome of the suit, I hope members move on harmoniously thereafter.”