Participation in nass announcement event, proof of acceptance
Mumbai: In the final hearing of the Syedna succession case on Wednesday, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s counsel dealt with the fact that the original plaintiff, Syedna Khuzaima Qutbudin, through his participation in the majlis at Saifee Masjid on June 6, 2011, had given unconditional acceptance of the nass conferred on the defendant
Mumbai: In the final hearing of the Syedna succession case on Wednesday, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s counsel dealt with the fact that the original plaintiff, Syedna Khuzaima Qutbudin, through his participation in the majlis at Saifee Masjid on June 6, 2011, had given unconditional acceptance of the nass conferred on the defendant. This after he had not only presided over the event but also partook of the sherbet consumed after the announcement tape was played. The counsel stressed that considering this action of the original plaintiff, the suit could not survive.
However, in light of the submissions by the original plaintiff that he had remained silent through he was aware that the nass on June 4, 2011 could not have happened. The HC noted that the Original Plaintiff may have played along in the hope that the ailing leader would have regained his health and put things right. The HC remarked that it expected this aspect to be argued by the plaintiff.
Senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas for Syedna Saifuddin, while commencing arguments on the 23rd day of the final hearing, started dealing with the issue of the silence of Syedna Qutbuddin about the nass conferred on him by the 52nd Dai in 1965. Dwarkadas informed the bench that this could have been due to either of the two reasons, namely nass was not conferred on the original plaintiff in 1965 or he had accepted the conferral of nass on the defendant on June 4, 2011 at the Cromwell hospital.
Referring to the event of June 6, 2011, the senior counsel told the single judge bench of justice Gautam Patel that the majlis of June 6, 2011 was to be presided over by the mukasir (third in command). He submitted that it was made known to the community that an important announcement was to be made. The original plaintiff had taken it upon himself to attend and preside over the majlis. Dwarkadas took the court through the deposition of the original plaintiff wherein he had stated that he attended the majlis to pray for the health of the ailing 52nd leader and was also aware that a tape announcing the nass conferred on the defendant would be played.
The bench was then shown photographs of the sherbet being consumed and the original plaintiff also partaking of the sherbet, which was given to him by the aamil of Saifee Masjid (administrator). Dwarkadas submitted that thereafter the original plaintiff was also felicitated by all those present on the defendant’s appointment, which was accepted by him.
Based on the event, Dwarkadas submitted that the actions of the original plaintiff sent out a message to the community members, the 52nd Dai and the defendant that he had accepted the appointment and hence, the suit could not survive.
Dwarkadas then referred to two other instances after June 6, 2011, wherein the original plaintiff and his son had openly shown their acceptance of the defendant’s appointment namely the funeral of the 52nd Dais half-brother where the original plaintiff offered funeral prayers behind the defendant and a majlis in Ujjain wherein Shehzada Abdeali, the son of the original plaintiff had mentioned about the appointment of the defendant as the successor of the 52nd Dai.
The bench was told that if the 1965 nass would have happened and the claims of hostility by the defendant and his coterie were to be believed, the original plaintiff would have taken up the issue with the 52nd Dai after November 2005 when the leader had faced health issues. However, the original plaintiff had at no place in his plaint or affidavit mentioned about any initiatives taken by him to request the 52nd Dai to take away the seal of secrecy imposed on him, hence it is possible that the original plaintiff only disclosed about the 1965 nass conferred on him after the demise of the 52nd Dai as he knew that his claim would have been refuted by the leader.
In the course of submissions by Dwarkadas, justice Patel remarked that as stated by the original plaintiff and later his son Syedna Taher Fakhruddin, the silence could have been to avert any adverse situation which would have arisen in the community and hence, he expected senior advocate Anand Desai for the plaintiff to clarify this aspect in rejoinder. Justice Patel added that he also wanted Desai to explain whether the silence by original plaintiff though he was sure of a wrong nass being claimed by the defendant could be justified, as doctrinally a previous nass could not be revoked.