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Gujarat HC bars 53rd Syedna from dealing with waqfs, public trusts

A file picture of 53rd Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin. Photo: Vivek Bendre

A file picture of 53rd Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin. Photo: Vivek Bendre  

The Gujarat High Court has granted an interim injunction against the current 53rd Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, barring him from selling, transferring or dealing with the public trusts and waqfs of the Dawoodi Bohra community in Gujarat till April 25.

The interim order was passed after Khuzema Qutbuddin, the uncle of Mufaddal Saifuddin, filed a bunch of petitions challenging the validity of the assistant charity commissioners’ and waqf board members’ decisions.

“The honourable High Court of Gujarat has passed an ad-interim order restraining Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin, his agents and his servants from alienating, selling, transferring or dealing with in any manner the assets and properties of about 75 public trusts and 261 wakfs till the next returnable date,” a spokesperson of Khuzema Qutbuddin, said.

The uncle-nephew duo is already embroiled in a bitter succession row.

Mr. Khuzema Qutbuddin has filed a suit in the Bombay High Court seeking that he be declared the 53rd Syedna. Within days of the demise of the 52nd Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin in January this year, his brother Khuzema Qutbuddin had laid claim to the position of the religious leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community.

The Dawoodi Bohras are a close-knit Shia Muslim community, having around a million followers worldwide. While there are large settlements in Gujarat and Maharashtra in India, there are significant Dawoodi Bohras in other South Asian countries, USA, UK, Australia, Gulf States.

The grieving community is now witness to a family feud, which the uncle claims to have tried to resolve amicably. Days after filing a suit in the Bombay High Court, he filed eight petitions in the Gujarat High Court alleging “violation of the principles of natural justice by several authorities.”

The petitions have claimed that various assistant charity commissioners and the Gujarat Waqf Board officials failed to follow the due process of law while naming Mufaddal Saifuddin as the sole trustee of various trusts and boards.

“The Writ Petitions state that soon after the sad demise of the 52 Dai al-Mutlaq His Holiness Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA on the 17 of January 2014, the Wakf Board passed an order entering Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin’s name on January 23, 2014 and that too within just 2 days of an application having been filed,” an official said.

According to the petition, Abdul Qadir Nooruddin, son-in-law of current Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, signed more than 150 change reports which were then filed with the offices of assistant charity commissioners in 20 districts within 10 days of the demise of the 52 Syedna.

It has alleged that the assistant charity commissioners in Mehsana, Patan, Amreli, Jamnagar, Gandhinagar, Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Rajkot, Dahod, Godhra and Valsad then passed the orders in haste, without making any inquiry.

The Gujarat High Court is slated to hear the matter next on April 25.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 2:21:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gujarat-hc-bars-53rd-syedna-from-dealing-with-waqfs-public-trusts/article5928965.ece

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