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.

Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit Update 2: 18th March 2015

The Hon’ble Bombay High Court has asked that both parties issue a statement asking the community to maintain calm during the proceeding of the trial. Mumineen are hereby requested to maintain calm during the proceeding of the trial.

The Hon’ble Court has also limited the number of people who can attend from each side to 25. A list of names of those persons who will attend the hearings must be supplied by each side to the High Court security staff at least 48 hours in advance, and those attending must carry appropriate photo identification with them. The security staff of the High Court will make arrangements to issue the necessary passes to these visitors. The High Court has made special amplification and audio visual arrangements for the testimony and cross examination of Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin TUS that is to take place on the 27th and 28th of April in a specially assigned courtroom.

Click here to view PDF of Hon’ble Court Order

Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit Update: 18th March 2015

The Hon’ble Bombay High Court has fixed the dates of 27th and 28th April for cross examination of the Plaintiff’s witnesses, and  Syedna Qutbuddin TUS will appear in court on those days for his testimony and cross examination.

Further details of the hearing and the Court Order will be published on Fatemidawatlegal.com once the Honorable Court’s order is released on Monday, March 23rd.

Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit Update: 19th January 2015

The Hon’ble Justice G. S. Patel has listed the suit for marking documents and cross-examination (trial stage) of the Plaintiff’s witnesses for three consecutive days from the 18th till the 20th of March from 12 noon onwards.

The Hon’ble Court has directed that the revised affidavits of documents and Statements of Admission and Denial of documents are to be completed and exchanged by 9th February, 2015 and the plaintiffs evidence affidavits will be filed by 4th of March, 2015.

Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit Update: 23rd December 2014

Since most of the documents submitted by the Parties are in Arabic or Lisan ud Dawat (language of the Dawoodi Bohra community), and there are concerns about the translations done by each side for the documents relied upon by the other side, the Parties have requested the Hon’ble Court for some time to try and resolve the differences in translation into English language.

The Hon’ble High Court has kept the matter on the 20th of January 2015 to complete the admission and denial of documents, including the translations.

 

Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit Update: 10th November 2014

The Hon’ble Justice R. D. Dhanuka has directed that the Affidavit of Documents alongwith the compilation to be submitted within a week by both parties simultaneously and the Statement of Admission and Denial of documents has to be filed within 10 days of service of Affidavit of Documents along with compilation and shall be exchanged simultaneously. The Hon’ble Court has placed the matter on the 11th of December, 2014 for deciding the admissibility of the documents.

Click here to view PDF of the Honorable Court Order.

 

Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit Update: 15th September 2014

The suit was listed before His Lordship Mr. Justice Gautam Patel in the Hon’ble Bombay High Court on September 15, 2014. After hearing the advocates appearing for Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin and my advocates, the Hon’ble Court passed the following orders.

Parties are to file their respective affidavits of the documents they are relying on by 14th October, 2014. The process of admission, denial and inspection of the documents shall be completed by 10thNovember 2014.

The Hon’ble Court then framed the Issues (points in dispute required to be decided by the Court), which are in brief on –

(i)           maintainability of the suit and jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court to hear the suit,

(ii)        what are the requirements of a valid Nass and whether the Plaintiff proves that a valid Nass was conferred/pronounced on him,

(iii)         whether Nass once conferred cannot be retracted or revoked or changed or superseded and if not, whether Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin (the Defendant) proves that a valid Nass was conferred on him by the 52nd Dai:

(a) On 28th January 1969

(b) In the year 2005

(c) On 4th June 2011

(d) On 20th June 2011

and these amounted to or was a retraction or revocation or change or supersession of any Nass previously conferred by the 52nd Dai.

 

The suit will now be on 14th October 2014 for directions as to the next date and further schedule.

Click here to view PDF of Hon’ble Court Order

Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit Update: 5th September 2014

The Defendant Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin’s advocate asked for more time to file their written statement. The Hon’ble Court has directed the Defendant to file his written statement by September 10, 2014. The matter will be listed on September 15, 2014 for “Framing of Issues”.

Click here to download PDF of Hon’ble Court Order

Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit Update: 14th July 2014

The Hon’ble Court was pleased to allow the amendments to the plaint as per the draft amendments submitted to the Court by the Plaintiff . The amendments have to be carried out by July 21, 2014 and the Defendant has been directed to file his written statement by September 4, 2014. The matter will be listed on September 9, 2014 for “Framing of Issues”.

Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit Update: 19th June 2014

The Suit was listed before the Hon’ble High Court for directions. Plaintiff’s counsel agreed with the Hon’ble Court’s proposal for an expedited trial and agreed to serve the Advocates for the Defendants the draft amendments to the Plaint by 7th July 2014. The Hon’ble Court directed that the suit be listed for further directions, including for filing of the written statement and completion of pre-trial formalities, on 14th July, 2014.

Click here to download PDF of Hon’ble Court Order