Khuzaima Qutbuddin, who claims to be the 53rd Dai al-Mutlaq and head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, has approached the Bombay high court. He has urged the court that he be declared as the Syedna.
Qutbuddin filed the suit on Tuesday through counsel DSK Legal. In a press conference earlier this month, Qutbuddin's two children had told the media that they would be challenging the succession and authority over the trusts and properties of the community at all levels.
He has sought relief against Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the second son of the late Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. Mohammed Burhanuddin passed away on January 17, 2013 at the age of 102. Qutbuddin has sought that Mufaddal be restrained from holding himself out or doing any acts, deeds or things as the 53rd Dai al-Mutlaq of the community.
The suit was filed after repeated attempts to solve the issue of the new Syedna failed, said a press note issued by Dr Abdeali Qutbuddin, spokesperson of Qutbuddin. "We tried to resolve this internally, including inviting Syedna Mufaddal to debate this matter and establish his rightful claim based on nass (investiture) conferred on him by (late) His Holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb," stated the press note.
The press note further adds: "All the attempts made by His Holiness Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin have been ignored and rebuffed by Mufaddal Saifuddin, who has made several false and contradictory claims as to how nass was performed on him."
Khuzaima's side has sort of reiterated that the succession should be on Mazoon (the second in command in the community after Syedna). Syedna Burhanuddin was also Syedna Taher Saifuddin's Mazoon.
Less than a month after Syedna Taher Saifuddin's demise, after which Burhanuddin became the new Syenda, he publicly appointed his younger brother, His Holiness Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin as his Mazoon and privately anointed him as his successor (53rd Dai Ul Mutlaq).
In June 2011, Syedna Burhanuddin was unwell and hospitalised in London. Syedna Mufaddal claimed that on June 4, 2011, Syedna Burhanuddin had called his three sons, daughter, son-in-law and grandson and sat up and repeatedly proclaimed his second son as his successor.
Qutbuddin has alleged that after this Syedna Mufaddal has made many other claims of such appointment, none of which are believable.
Qutbuddin has claimed that he did not challenge the false claims made by Syedna Mufaddal as he (Qutbuddin) had been asked to maintain his appointment in confidence by Syedna Burhanuddin Saheb. He prayed and hoped that Syedna Burhanuddin Saheb would recover and set the position right in the manner Syedna deemed appropriate.
After the sad demise of Syedna Burhanuddin Saheb, Qutbuddin has been in solemn prayer and has maintained the dignity of the 40-day period of mourning as per religious beliefs.
Mufaddal's side had no comments on this.