Syedna row: 'This is not a family feud'

Updated: Nov 17, 2016, 09:51 IST | Gaurav Sarkar |

Following the Gujarat court ruling in favour of permitting Taher Fakhruddin’s takeover as plaintiff in the succession case, his younger brother tells mid-day they are confident of a favourable outcome

Khuzaima Qutbuddin with Taher Fakhruddin
Khuzaima Qutbuddin with Taher Fakhruddin

In the ongoing succession battle — and the title of Syedna — in the Dawoodi Bohra community, last week’s Gujarat HC ruling could well be a confidence booster for the marginalised Fakhruddin faction. According to the ruling, now deceased and original petitioner Khuzaima Qutbuddin’s eldest son Taher Fakhruddin can be appointed legal heir in all ongoing legal proceedings in the state.

'A significant win'
“We were always optimistic,” said Abdeali Qutbuddin, Fakhruddin’s younger brother, in an interview with mid-day. “This particular petition had been filed in the Gujarat High Court six months ago by my older brother and now Syedna Fakhruddin following the demise of our father. We, along with the Dawoodi Bohra community, are happy with this ruling. It was a significant win for Syedna Fakhruddin to be allowed to continue the petitions filed by his predecessor Syedna Qutbuddin. Yes, we are Syedna Fakhruddin’s brothers, but he is now our Syedna. This ruling is a win for all in the community,” he insisted.

“This ruling underscores Syedna Fakhruddin’s confidence in the Indian justice system and his principled stand for truth and the future of the Dawoodi Bohra community,” he said, adding, “Even though the rival faction and his party have sort of taken over the infrastructure of the community, justice and truth will always prevail. The way we see it, this is not a family feud; both parties involved in the case being related to each is merely coincidental. The question remains, who is the rightful leader of the community?”

Drawing attention to the HC Chamber summons early next month, Abdeali said, “We are confident of our arguments here, as we were in Gujarat. The Bombay High Court has posted the matter for December 7, in which Syedna Fakhruddin has asked the court to allow him to be substituted as plaintiff in place of Syedna Qutbuddin.”

The other side
When mid-day tried contacting the rival party, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s faction, a spokesperson said that they could not comment on the ongoing proceedings, as they were still sub-judice.

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