‘Special gifts’ don’t indicate conferment of nass, says defence counsel
Mumbai: The counsels for defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin on Thursday refuted the claim that the special gifts bestowed by the 52nd Dai on original plaintiff Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin in 1965 was an indication of conferment of nass
Mumbai: The counsels for defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin on Thursday refuted the claim that the special gifts bestowed by the 52nd Dai on original plaintiff Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin in 1965 was an indication of conferment of nass. They also rebutted the claim that the plaintiff was asked to keep the nass a secret due to the possible threat to his life and the hostility of his brothers.
The counsels submitted that throughout the alleged period of animosity, the relations between the original plaintiff and his brothers were cordial. The brothers from whom the 52nd Dai had allegedly intended to safeguard Syedna Qutbuddin were held in high esteem by the deceased leader as well as the plaintiff himself, as he had married his daughters to their sons.
Senior advocate Fredun Di’Vitre, along with senior counsels Iqbal Chagla and Janak Dwarkadas, informed Justice Gautam Patel that when the original plaintiff announced his succession in January 2014 after the demise of the leader, only his children had given their ‘misaaq’ (acceptance of leadership)—even his siblings had not, including three of his sisters who the plaintiff claimed had given misaaq.
The bench was then told about the alleged conferment of nass on December 10, 1965. Syedna Qutbuddin and his son Syedna Taher Fakhruddin had stated that the bestowal of special gifts belonging to the 51st Dai—a Quran, rosary and ring—were an indication of conferment of nass. However, Di’Vitre informed the bench that this was not an accepted ritual in the community and hence the claim was not valid.
The plaintiff had claimed that the gifts and the 52nd Dai’s statement (“Brother, you have to continue serving the Da’wa in the same rank as me”) indicated that he was being made the maazoon (second in command) and mansoos (one on whom nass of succession is conferred), as those were the ranks that the 52nd Dai occupied in the lifetime of the 51st Dai.
Di’Vitre, however, submitted that when the 52nd Dai’s succession was announced in 1935 by his father, it was stated publicly that he would be both maazoon and mansoos. The plaintiff, in contrast, was announced as only maazoon in the 52nd Dai’s public sermon, hence could not claim that the word ‘rank’ used by the 52nd Dai meant both maazoon and mansoos.
Justice Patel then sought to know about the claim of the original plaintiff about the hate campaign, the attempt to eliminate him and the reign of terror by the defendant. Di’Vitre referred to the examination, cross-examination and affidavit of both the original plaintiff and his son to show that they admitted that the brothers, particularly the elder brother of Syedna Qutbuddin, Shehzada Yusuf Najmuddin, was held in high esteem by the 52nd Dai and even themselves, and hence his being a threat was only a perception of the plaintiff which was not corroborated factually.