Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit 27th & 28th April 2015

The cross-examination of the Plaintiff (Syedna Khuzaima QutbuddinTUS) in the Suit filed by him in the Hon’ble Bombay High Court began on the 27th of April 2015 at 3 PM in the historic Courtroom No. 46, presided by Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel. The Plaintiff took the oath and before his cross-examination commenced he prayed Bismillah.

The Plaintiff was cross-examined by Defendant’s (Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin) Senior Counsel Mr. Iqbal Chagla.

Over three sessions and 5 and ½ hours of cross-examination the Plaintiff was asked several questions. Some of them were:

Mr Chagla asked: Why was the Nass conferred on 10th December 1965 secret and unwitnessed. The Plaintiff replied that it was the decision of Syedna (Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA) to keep it secret and that he, the Plaintiff, was the witness.

Further Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff why he was asked to keep the Nass in confidence and not disclose it. He answered that it was not for him to guess why Syedna asked this of him. Syedna instructed him to keep it confidential, and he obeyed him.

Mr. Chagla asked on what basis did the Plaintiff form the conjecture that there was danger to his life if the Nass was publicly announced, as he had stated in the Plaint para 29. The Plaintiff responded that Syedna (52nd Dai) had told his uncle (Mukasir Saheb Saleh Bhaisaheb Saifiyuddin) when asked why the nass was not made public, that if he (the 52nd Dai) would have done so then “talwaro chali jati”

Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff that other than Mukasir Saheb, who were the other people the Plaintiff was referring to in paragraph 28(i-1) of the plaint last sentence (This shows that certain key people, including the then Mukasir Syedi Saleh bhaisaheb knew about the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq’s nass on the Plaintiff and it explains why His Holiness did not declare the nass in an open manner, realising the intrigue and possible violence that may follow from disgruntled older brothers of the Plaintiff). The Plaintiff responded that the persons he was referring to included Busab Amatullah Aaisaheba (wife of 52nd Dai) and others.

Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff whether he believed that even the Defendant knew that the Plaintiff was to be the successor of the 52nd Dai, referring to paragragh 31 sub-paragraph (a) of the evidence affidavit dated 13th March 2015. The Plaintiff replied that he thought so.

Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff whether according to the Plaintiff it was correct that there was no secret about the alleged nass conferred on him. The Plaintiff replied that it was possible because of the favours showered on the Plaintiff by the 52nd Dai.

Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff when he felt that Yusuf bhaisab Najmuddin felt “slighted and jealous” by the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff replied it was approximately the year 1381 or 1382 A.H. (1961 or 1962). He then asked the Plaintiff when he felt Yusuf bhaisab, the Defendant and his brothers had started allegedly scheming against the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff replied that Yusuf Bhaisaheb Najmuddin personally told him that he was “very jealous” of him in 1381 A.H. (1961 – 1962) because the Plaintiff had attained such a high position at so young an age. The Plaintiff further said that therefore, according to him, Yusuf Bhaisaheb’s scheming against the Plaintiff was from that time. He added that during the time of the 52nd Dai after a few years of his reign Yusuf Bhaisab had influenced the family of the 52nd Dai also including the Defendant and his brothers, and that the Defendant was the son-in-law of Yusuf bhaisaheb Najmuddin.

Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff to name the brothers and supporters of the Defendant who were party to the scheming. The Plaintiff replied that apart from the Defendant, his elder brother Qaid Johar, Malik-ul Ashtar and Idris and the sons and daughters of Yusuf Bhaisaheb. Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff to name the sons and daughters of Yusuf Bhaisaheb who according to the Plaintiff were involved in the scheming. The Plaintiff replied that the sons were Badrul Jamali, Qausar Ali, Saeedul Khair and the daughters were Jauharatush Sharaf and Maria.

Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff to name the brothers of Yusuf Bhaisab Najmuddin who according to him were part of this alleged scheme. The Plaintiff replied that they were Ali Asghar Bhaisaheb Kalimuddin and Qasim Bhaisaheb Hakimuddin.

Mr Chagla then asked what was the purpose or object of this scheme against the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff replied that it was to malign him.

Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff what were the functions and duties of a Mazoon. The Plaintiff replied that there were several functions and duties of a Mazoon. In rank, he is next in line to the Dai al-Mutlaq. One of the main duties is the practice of the religion. He (the Mazoon) is the first one required to follow the guidance provided by the Dai al-Mutlaq. The Plaintiff said that in the doctrine, it is said that the Dai and the Mazoon together guide the community. It is also said that Dai and Mazoon are the fountains of spiritual knowledge for the community. The ranks of the Dai and Mazoon are called “Rutba”. These are the only two who are referred to in this manner. Both of them are the ones who spread spiritual knowledge. They are the ones who have the right to decide what spiritual knowledge is to be disseminated and from what text. They are the two persons who give knowledge to Muallimeen and Mutallimeen, (teachers and students). In the same manner, the Dai and Mazoon are in position to give knowledge to Mufideen (Professors and Teachers), as also to the Mustafideen (students) who are seeking higher religious and spiritual knowledge.

Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff if it was correct according to the Plaintiff that the veracity of the Mazoon was beyond doubt. The Plaintiff replied “yes”.

The Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel has kept the matter for directions on June 15, 2015 and then the further schedule for further cross-examination will be decided.