Syedna succession case: ‘Can a Dai tweak doctrine for the sake of community?’
The court held that though the doctrine states that a nass once conferred could not be revoked and conferral of nass could be done with or without witnesses, as the Dai was infallible and did acts based on the inspiration from the secluded Imam and the guidance of Allah
Mumbai: The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday said the arguments and submissions made by both sides regarding the condition of the 52nd Dai after suffering the stroke in June 2011 would have no bearing on deciding the Syedna succession case, as the HC was to decide on whether a valid nass was conferred either on the original plaintiff or the defendant.
The court held that though the doctrine states that a nass once conferred could not be revoked and conferral of nass could be done with or without witnesses, as the Dai was infallible and did acts based on the inspiration from the secluded Imam and the guidance of Allah, it was possible that he had the ability to tweak the doctrine to ensure that the faith was safeguarded.
The comments were prompted after the defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s counsel concluded arguments to prove that though the 52nd Dai had become infirm due to the effects of the June 2011 stroke, he was having the capacity to discharge his duty and had done so.
This the defendant said disproved the claim of the original plaintiff Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin and later his son Syedna Taher Fakhruddin that the leader was so incapacitated after the stroke the he could not have conferred the nass on the defendant on June 4 at the Cromwell hospital in London and on June 20, 2011 at Raudat Tahera in Mumbai.
Senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas for Syedna Saifuddin while continuing to enumerate the events after June 4, 2011 to show that the 52nd Dai was able to comprehend what was happening around him and was actively discharging his duties as the leader of the community informed the single judge bench of justice, Gautam Patel, about the events which took place between June 2011 till the passing away of the leader in January 2014.
Dwarkadas referred to four events namely a baithak (meeting of the Dai with the senior members of the community) in August 2011, an Urs (death anniversary commemoration) majlis in June 2012, a banquet in Saifee Mahal in June 2012, and a baithak in January 2014 just 15 days before the passing away of the 52nd Dai to show that the leader was actively conducting the affairs of the community as well as meeting an interacting with his family and community members.
Dwarkadas also referred to instances of the original plaintiff and his family members seeking ‘raza’ (permission to undertake activities, seek prayers) of the 52nd Dai in the 2011 to 2014 period to prove that their acts itself showed that the leader was discharging his duty to the community in that period.
Considering the above, the senior counsel concluded that the above instances disproved the claim of the plaintiff that the 52nd Dai was infirm and all the acts attributed to the leader in that period were orchestrated by the defendant and his coterie. He also submitted that the original plaintiff had many occasions to speak to the 52nd Dai about the nass conferred on him and the nass conferred on the defendant but as he had not done so, it indicated that the 1965 nass never happened.
After hearing the conclusion, justice Patel said that the submissions and arguments on the period between 2011 and 2014 by both sides would be inconsequential as the claims by the plaintiff in his plaint and his examination were based on impressions and though the defendant had disproved the claims of the plaintiff through videos, photographs and direct evidence by witnesses, the issue of conferral of nass was not proved.
Justice Patel referred to historical instances of the community where a ‘mansoos’ was pitched against another ‘mansoos’; however, it all happened after the passing of an Imam or a Dai. In the instant case, he said that the silence of the original plaintiff and the acts of his family members towards the defendant after June 2011 could have been because the family was unaware of the secret nass of 1965, hence it would not be possible for him to decide on the issue on those grounds.
While referring to Dai’s powers, justice Patel said that as Dai was infallible and pure it was possible that he could tweak some doctrines for the larger benefit of the community, however, he assumed it was only restricted to certain doctrines and not all, hence the next issue of revocability of nass would have a bearing on the case which will be addressed by both sides from January 30.