Latest update: Hearings for final arguments began on 28th November 2022 and continued day-to-day until 23rd December 2022, in a special session only for this matter before the Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel.
The Plaintiff’s Counsel, Mr. Anand Desai presented arguments from 28th November until the morning of 7th December. The Defendant’s Senior Counsels, Mr. Iqbal Chagla, Mr. Janak Dwarkadas, and Mr. Fredun DeVitre then began the Defendant’s arguments, which are still continuing.
The Hon’ble Justice Patel has set further dates from 11th January 2023 onwards, where he will again take up this matter at 4:30pm. Mr. Dwarkadas is expected to complete presenting arguments on the alleged conferrals of nass on the Defendant by 16th January 2023, after which Mr. DeVitre will present arguments regarding the possibility of revocation or change of nass. The Plaintiff’s Counsel, Mr. Desai, will then address the Defendant’s arguments in rejoinder.
During this important time, Syedna Fakhruddin TUS urges Mumineen to remain calm and maintain decorum to ensure the Hon’ble Bombay High Court can hear this matter without interference.
This is the official website of His Holiness Syedna Taher Fakhruddin Saheb’s TUS Legal Office with updates regarding the Suit filed in the Honourable Bombay High Court by His Holiness Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin Saheb RA against Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin after the sad passing of His Holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb RA in 2014.
On 30th March 2016, Syedna Qutbuddin Saheb sadly passed away and in June 2016, his successor Syedna Taher Fakhruddin Saheb filed a Chamber Summons to be substituted as Plaintiff in the Suit. In March 2017, the Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel passed an order substituting Syedna Fakhruddin Saheb as Plaintiff.
In February 2020, His Holiness Syedna Taher Fakhruddin Saheb TUS, the Plaintiff, closed his evidence, after 4 witnesses (including Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin Saheb, and Syedna Taher Fakhruddin Saheb) gave their evidence in chief, and were cross-examined by the Defendant’s Senior Counsel.
Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin, the Defendant, chose not to be a witness in the suit and therefore was not cross-examined.
The Defendant led the evidence of 13 witnesses. Cross-examination of the first witness began in February 2021 and cross-examination of the final witness concluded on 30 August 2022. The witnesses were:
- DW1: Dr. Omar Malik, neurologist at the Bupa Cromwell Hospital in London
- DW2: Dr. John Costello, physician at the Bupa Cromwell Hospital in London
- DW3: Abdulqadir Moiz Nooruddin
- DW4: Taher Shaikh Abdulhusein Tambawala
- DW5: Kauserali Shaikh Abdulhusein Yamani
- DW6: Mohammed Shaikh Yusuf Rampurawala
- DW7: Saifuddin Shaikh Fidaali Heptulla
- DW8: Abdeabiturab Shaikh Abdulhusain Rangwala
- DW9: Shehzada Malekulashtar Shujauddin
- DW10: Dr. Ramzi Mounir Baalbaki, as an expert in translation from Arabic to English
- DW11: Dr. Samer Traboulsi, as an expert on doctrine
- DW12: Dr. Christopher Davies, as a handwriting expert
- DW13: Kinana Mudar Dawoodi (Jamaluddin)
On 6 September 2022, the Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel passed an order noting that the cross-examination of the Defendant’s witnesses has concluded and listed the matter on 17, 18, and 19 October 2022 to pass Orders on objections, marking of documents in evidence, and other matters.
Before filing this suit, a press conference was held in March 2014 outlining Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin Saheb’s philosophy and vision for the community. A press release with details is available:
‘Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin is 53rd Dai ul-Mutlaq and leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community’