Instead of deciding on the ad-interim sought by the challenger to Syedna's post, the Bombay high court, on Monday, suggested that it would decide on declaring who the Syedna should be.
Justice GS Patel directed the 53rd Dai Ul Mutlaq, Mufaddal Saifuddin, whose succession is being challenged by his uncle, Khuzaima Qutbuddin, to file his reply by Thursday.
Justice Patel, adjourning the hearing, said: "My suggestion is that there is very little point in keeping the motion pending. You will be allowed to function subject to the outcome of the suit." The court also said it could hear the suit on a daily basis.
The court made these observations while hearing the plaint filed by Qutbuddin challenging the succession of his nephew, who is now the incumbent 53rd Dai Ul Mutlaq. In his declaratory suit, he seeks being declared the 53rd Dai and restricting his opponent from having any authority over properties.
Saifuddin, through his elder brother, Dr Qaidjoher Ezzuddin, who has been appointed the Constituted Attorney, has opposed reliefs sought in the declaratory suit filed by Qutbuddin, stepbrother of the late 52nd Dai, Mohammed Burhanuddin.
In an affidavit of over 400 pages filed in response to Qutbuddin's petition in the HC, Qaidjoher contented: "The suit is based on false and untenable cases. Bohras across the world have given misaq (oath of allegiance) to Mufaddal...only a handful from the community have not accepted him."
As proof, the affidavit has annexed several photographs depicting the late Syedna falling back on Mufaddal and leading him in prayer meets held during Muharram. The affidavit also denies all charges levelled against Mufaddal.
It also rebuts the claims of threat made to Qutbuddin and his family. "The defendant has not threatened the plaintiff or his family. He has not been deprived entry into Saifee Mahal in his capacity as a member of the community, but is opposed to him seeking entry into the Mahal as the 53rd Dai and seeking injunction against Mufaddal's entry," states the affidavit.
In June 2011, Mufaddal Saifuddin was nominated the successor, according to the press statement from the community. Qutbuddin publicly challenged the succession first time after the death of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin on January 17. Qutbuddin claimed that he had not challenged the false claims made by Syedna Mufaddal until now because he (Qutbuddin) had been asked to keep his appointment in confidence by Syedna Burhanuddin, and was waiting for the late leader to get well to take up the issue with him.