In his address to the community after the sad passing away of Syedna Burhanuddin, and in his sworn testimony in the Bombay High Court, Syedna Qutbuddin stated that he was appointed in 1965 by Syedna Burhanuddin by a private communication between Syedna Burhanuddin and himself. Syedna Burhanuddin then gave a sermon in which he clearly indicated that Syedna Qutbuddin was his successor.
Several people in the community, including members of Syedna Burhanuddin’s family, including Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin himself, acknowledged Syedna Qutbuddin as the 52nd Dai’s Mansoos by their words and conduct. There are Dawoodi Bohra community traditions regarding on how one should address a Dai or his successor, how to supplicate oneself to a Dai or his successor, including sajda (prostations), which are done only for a Dai or his successor. These traditions were being followed by several people including family members in their interactions with Syedna Qutbuddin.
Senior community members, including Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin, referred to Syedna Qutbuddin as “Maula”, and they performed sajda to him as they knew that Syedna Qutbuddin was the successor of Syedna Burhanuddin.
Syedna Fakhruddin’s case also states that that nass once conferred is irrevocable. Syedna Qutbuddin testified that Syedna Burhanuddin conferred nass on him in a private communication on 10th December 1965. It is also the belief of the community that the Mazoon only speaks the truth, and there can be no doubt about the veracity of his testimony. Syedna Burhanuddin appointed Syedna Qutbuddin in the position of Mazoon as one of first actions as Dai and he remained in that esteemed position for the rest of the 52nd Dai’s life.
Issues as Framed
The Hon’ble Bombay High Court has framed six issues to be determined. These were most recently listed in a court order dated 19 October 2022 (refer pages 29-31) and are also reproduced below:
- (a) Whether the suit is not maintainable for the reasons stated in paragraph 1 of the Written Statement?
(b) Whether this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain and try the suit or grant the reliefs prayed for as stated in the Written Statement?
(c) Whether the reliefs prayed for by the Plaintiff in prayers (b) and (h) are barred by the provisions of the Maharashtra Public Trusts Act, 1950 as stated in paragraph 3 of the Written Statement?
- What are the requirements of a valid Nass as per the tenets of the faith?
- 3-A Whether the Plaintiff proves that a valid Nass was conferred/pronounced on the Original Plaintiff as stated in the Plaint?
3-B If Issue No.3-A above is answered in the affirmative, then whether the Plaintiff proves that a valid Nass was conferred/pronounced on him as stated in the Plaint?
- Whether a Nass once conferred cannot be retracted or revoked or changed or superseded?
- Whether 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
as stated in the Written Statement and if the answer to Issue 4 is in the negative, then whether any Nass proved on the Defendant as above consequently amounts to a retraction or revocation or change or supersession of any Nass previously conferred on the Plaintiff by the 52nd Dai?
- What Judgment and Decree?
Press Coverage of Issues