Past instances prove that only final nass of succession is valid

ByK A Y Dodhiya
Apr 01, 2023 12:50 AM IST

The defendant in the Syedna Succession case argues that only the final nass is valid and cannot be changed, despite instances of revocation in the past. The counsel for Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin also argues that previous nass on his ancestors were not nass of succession. The arguments continue on Monday.

MUMBAI: The counsel for the defendant in the Syedna Succession case, informed the Bombay high court (HC) on Friday that instances of revocation of nass in the past had been based on the prevailing circumstances but only the final nass was the valid nass. The defendant clarified that once a final nass was conferred it could not have been changed and hence the contention of the plaintiff that the nass conferred on him in 1965 was valid and the subsequent nass on the defendant in June 2011 were not valid could not hold true.

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Senior counsel Fredun Di’Vitre representing Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin while arguing against the rejoinder of the plaintiff submitted that the contentions of Syedna Taher Fakhruddin through senior advocate Anand Desai that the first two nass conferred by the 18th Imam on his sons Nizar and Abdullah were not nass of succession was not true.

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Desai had submitted that the while the two sons were given the title of Wali-al-Muslimeen, Imam Musta’li who ultimately succeeded and became the 19th Imam was given the title of Wali-Al-Momineen which indicated that the first two nass were not nass of succession as the title Wali-Al-Muslimeen was different from the title given to successors.

Di’Vitre submitted that due to the prevailing circumstances the 18th Imam had wanted the followers to believe that Nizar was going to be his successor and hence had done the nass of succession on him. However, when the 18th Imam was about to pass, he had named Imam Musta’li as his successor and it is an accepted fact by the community which is also corroborated by the writings of the 20th Imam and the 51st Dai.

The bench of justice Gautam Patel was told that though a schism had occurred after the demise of the 18th Imam and a group followed Imam Nizar, the fact that the Bohra community followed Imam Musta’li showed that the community believed that the nass of succession could be changed and only the final nass which was done on Imam Musta’li was the valid nass.

The senior counsel also referred to the appointment of the 6th Imam Ismail who predeceased his father and said that the appointment of a caretaker till Imam Ismails son Mohammad was not capable enough to take charge also showed that the nass on the caretaker was done due to the prevailing circumstances where the need of the hour was to conceal the true successor. However once Mohammad became eligible he became the 7th Imam of those who accepted Imam Ismail as the 6th Imam. However, justice Patel noted that if that was the case, then the contention of the plaintiff as to what was the need to show that the defendant was conferred nass on four occasions was not out of place.

The arguments against the rejoinder by the plaintiff will continue on Monday wherein senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas will counter the arguments of the plaintiff that the four nass on the defendant were concocted and the 52nd Dai had not appointed the defendant as his successor.

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