Bombay high court rejects Dawoodi Bohra succession suit, upholds Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s claim | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Bombay high court rejects Dawoodi Bohra succession suit, upholds Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s claim

Apr 23, 2024 12:32 PM IST

The Bombay high court dismissed a suit challenging Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin's position as the 53rd religious leader of Dawoodi Bohra Community.

The Bombay high court on Tuesday, April 23, dismissed a suit challenging Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin's position as the 53rd religious leader or 'Dai-al-Mutlaq' of the Dawoodi Bohra Community. The court dismissed his nephew Taher Fakhruddin's claim. Justice GS Patel pronounced the judgment, dismissing Fakhruddin's suit.

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin is the 53rd religious leader or 'Dai-al-Mutlaq' of the Dawoodi Bohra Community.
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin is the 53rd religious leader or 'Dai-al-Mutlaq' of the Dawoodi Bohra Community.

The Dawoodi Bohras are a sect within the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam.

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The suit was originally filed by Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin in March 2014 for a declaration that he was properly appointed as the 53rd Dai Al-Mutlaq (or spiritual leader and head of the 1.5 million-strong Dawoodi Bohra Community) by the 52nd Dai Al-Mutlaq, and his half-brother Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin.

Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin claimed that he had been conferred "nass" by the 52nd Dai in December 1965, but despite the "nass" having been conferred on him, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the son of the 52nd Dai, had announced himself to be the 53rd Dai after the demise of his father on 17 January 2014, and took control over the community and its properties.

Nass is the official declaration of succession followed by the Dawoodi Bohra sect, which has been roiled in a battle for assumption of leadership of the community.

He also sought a declaration that as the 53rd Dai Al-Mutlaq, he was also entitled to administer, control, and manage all the immovable and movable properties and assets of the Dawoodi Bohra Community, and was entitled to Saify Mahal situated at AG Bell Road in Malabar Hill, which houses the official office-cum-residence of the Dai al-Mutlaq.

Besides, the Plaintiff also sought restraint on Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin from obstructing him from entering Saifee Masjid, Raudat Tahera, and all other Community properties, such as mosques, Dar ul-Imarats, community halls, mausoleums, schools, colleges, hospitals, cemeteries, offices, etc.

However, Qutbuddin died in 2016 during the trial. Subsequently, his son, Syedna Taher Fakhruddin, filed an application in the high court seeking to replace his father in the suit. Fakhruddin claimed he was conferred nass by his father, and he claimed to be the 54th Dai.

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, on his part, claimed to have been validly appointed by the 52nd Dai as his successor and assumed office after the 52nd Dai died on 17 January 2014. He justified his action, stating that he had been conferred "nass" by his father while in a London hospital in 2011, and a fortnight later, his father publicly announced his succession in Mumbai.

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