On 5th April 2023 the final arguments in the historic Dawoodi Bohra Succession Suit concluded in the Hon’ble Bombay High Court before the Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel. This marked the penultimate milestone in the Suit, originally filed by His Holiness Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin Saheb in 2014 against the Defendant for truth, justice, and the future of the Dawoodi Bohra Community.
The final arguments lasted 46 days and more than 140 hours of arguments were heard by the Hon’ble Justice Patel. The Hon’ble Justice Patel has reserved Judgement. This dispute has affected a million-strong community in India, and beyond – all of whom are eagerly waiting for justice to be served.
View News Coverage of Final Arguments
The Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel has set further dates from 11th January 2023 onwards, where he will again take up this matter at 4:30pm. The Defendant’s Senior Counsel Mr. Janak Dwarkadas is expected to complete presenting arguments on the alleged conferrals of nass on the Defendant by 16th January 2023, after which the Defendant’s Senior Counsel Mr. Fredun DeVitre will present arguments regarding the possibility of revocation or change of nass. The Plaintiff’s Counsel, Mr. Anand Desai, will then address the Defendant’s arguments in rejoinder.
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.
Cross-examination of the Defendant’s witnesses DW1 through DW4 was concluded in 2021, after commencing in February 2021.
The Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel has set dates for the final arguments in the suit, which will be held before him in a special session only for this matter from from 28 November 2022 to 23 December 2022 on a day-to-day basis.
The Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel has listed the matter on 17, 18, and 19 October 2022 to pass orders on objections, marking of documents in evidence, and other matters.
The Defendant led the evidence of 13 witnesses. Cross-examination of the first witness began in February 2021 and cross-examination of the last witness concluded on 30 August 2022.
Syedna Fakhruddin Saheb TUS’ cross-examination continues, with the Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel allocating 22 days for cross-examination in between 8th January and 30th November 2018.
Read press report: Hindustan Times: Disputes from the past discussed in Bohra succession case
The cross-examination of the Defendant’s second witness, Dr. John Costello, a consultant respiratory medicine physician, concluded on 31 March 2021, with 42 questions being asked over two sessions.
The cross-examination of the Defendant’s first witness, Dr. Omar Malik, a consultant neurologist, began on 2nd February 2021, with Mr. Anand Desai of DSK Legal, on behalf of the Plaintiff, conducting the cross-examination. Due to the Covid pandemic, Dr. Malik was unable to travel to Mumbai and the Hon’ble Bombay High Court set up a video link for his cross-examination at the International Dispute Resolution Centre (IDRC) in London. The cross-examination spanned three half-day sessions, with 118 questions asked, and ended on 4th February 2021.