Video clips of post-nass conferral on defendant played in court
Mumbai: The 20th day of the Syedna succession case in the Bombay high court saw the counsel for defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin recount the events that occurred after the 52nd Dai conferred nass on the defendant in London’s Cromwell Hospital on June 4, 2011
Mumbai: The 20th day of the Syedna succession case in the Bombay high court saw the counsel for defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin recount the events that occurred after the 52nd Dai conferred nass on the defendant in London’s Cromwell Hospital on June 4, 2011. The court was shown six video clips taken in the hospital wherein the 52nd Dai was seen blessing the defendant and permitting his family to pay their respects to him and the defendant after his appointment.
The court was told that the videos proved that the 52nd Dai was alert, comprehended what was going on around him and responded appropriately to it. This, the defence counsel submitted, disproved the claim of the plaintiff that the Dai was so incapacitated that he could not have conferred nass on the defendant.
Senior defence counsel Janak Dwarkadas, while continuing to recount the events at Cromwell Hospital where the 52nd Dai had been admitted after suffering a stroke on June 1, 2011, informed Justice Gautam Patel that defence witness Abdulqadir Moiz Nooruddin, the grandson of the Dai, had video-recorded the events after the conferral of nass in the Dai’s hospital room at 8.07 pm.
Dwarkadas said that the six video clips were being relied upon, along with the evidence and affidavits of the Dai’s doctors, to prove that the Dai was fully conscious, alert and able to communicate with those present.
The bench was informed that after the nass was conferred at around 8.07pm, based on the directions of the 52nd Dai, Nooruddin and his father, and the Dai’s elder son Shehzada Qaid Johar, went to the house of the defendant to inform him of his appointment. Nooruddin stated that on hearing the news, the defendant sank to the floor and expressed anxiety about the condition of his ailing father.
Thereafter, they all reached Cromwell Hospital at around 10.30 pm and on seeing the defendant, the 52nd Dai acknowledged him by raising his right hand. The defendant then took the blessings of his father, after which all those present sought permission from the ailing leader to convey their respects to both ‘Maulas’, which the leader permitted.
Nooruddin stated that he had been video-recording the proceedings on his mobile phone all the while, and the 52nd Dai was heard telling Dr Moiz: “You have taken much trouble.” After the 52nd Dai inquired for the fourth time whether everyone had been informed of the appointment, his sons went to the next room and started calling community members to convey the news.
Dwarkadas submitted that apart from the audio clips of the nass, the video recording post the conferment indicated that the 52nd Dai’s condition was not as debilitating as the plaintiff had claimed. The plaintiff Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin and later his son Syedna Taher Fakhruddin had maintained that the 52nd Dai could not have conferred nass while in the hospital due to the effects of the stroke which would have left him incapable of speaking, let alone indulging in any physical action.
Dwarkadas also referred to the depositions of Dr Omar Malik and Dr John Costello, who treated the 52nd Dai in hospital. The two doctors had confirmed that the person in the video was their patient, the location was the hospital room and the voice was also that of the ailing leader. In fact Dr Costello, after confirming that it was the 52nd Dai, also said that based on the video, the leader was capable of conferring nass at the time.
When Justice Patel asked whether the video recording was done anticipating a future reaction from the plaintiff, Dwarkadas said it was a momentous occasion and hence modern technology was used. He further justified that at the time of conferring nass, Nooruddin had only done audio recordings, as he was physically supporting the 52nd Dai, but later when there were more persons in the room, he was able to video-record the proceedings.
Justice Patel then noted that he expected the plaintiff’s counsel, senior advocate Anand Desai, to disprove the evidences produced by the defendant in his rejoinder to substantiate the claim that the entire incident was fabricated.