CUSTODY BATTLE CAUGHT IN CROSS-COMPLAINTS
While Syedna's daughter-in-law, her lawyer allege death and abduction threats, his son and nephew counter with new plaint.
A complaint and a countercomplaint later, the custody battle over the Syedna's nine grandchildren hit a new low on Saturday with one party alleging death threats and attempts of abduction, while the other countering with another plaint to decimate the former but refusing to divulge its details.
The lawyers representing the two wives, Taubon Irani - a well-known family court lawyer -- approached the Bandra Kurla Complex police station on Saturday afternoon, alleging that she was threatened with dire consequences in the parking lot by Ali Asgar Ezzuddin - her client Fatema's brother-in-law. Fatema is married to Syedna Saifuddin's nephew Ibrahim and is fighting for the custody of her four children.
While the two husbands come from the Syedna "in power" Mufaddal Saifuddin's side, their respective wives come from the late claimant Khuzaima Qutbuddin's lineage.
Irani's complaint reads: "In the parking lot of the court premises, Ali Asgar Ezzuddin advanced menacingly towards me and threatened to kill me. He said if I stepped out of the court premises, he will kill me and wipe me off from the face of this earth."
Her complaint went on to allege that she warned Ezzuddin against threatening her, but instead of stopping, an attempt to kill her was made immediately after her opponent made the threat.
"I say that thereafter he went towards his car with a driver and the son of my client. I say then both of them came in their car towards me and tried to go over and I moved away just in time. They then drove the car towards me and opened the back door and tried to push me into the car to take me away forcefully," Irani's said.
She also alleged that earlier, she had seen Taha Saifuddin - Syedna's son and Qutbuddin's daughter Arwa's husband - shouting at the marriage Counsellor and threatening her with dire consequences.
Taha and Arwa are fighting for the custody of their five children.
Subsequently, a complaint was filed by Fatema where she alleged that she had been threatened by Ezzuddin too. Her complaint alleged that she met her son for only about two minutes in the children's complex in the Family Court compound, and that the son ran away before she could handover cupcakes and a card to him for his birthday on Monday.
When she ran after her son, she saw Ezzuddin sitting outside, who started pulling the child on the stairs and threatened to hit Fatema. She also said that he had advanced towards her to hit her. "He threatened to strip me and flog me in front of the whole world," said Fatema in her complaint.
"He abused my late father Syedna Qutbuddin saying that he is rotting in his grave. I was shivering with fright that he would make his threats come true," reads Fatema's complaint.
Meanwhile, advocate Ramesh Lalwani, fighting for the husbands, refused to divulge details of their counter plaint but said that his clients did not wish to comment on the 'false allegations' against them.
POWER TRUMPS FAMILY
► The acrimony between the current Syedna, Mufaddal Saifuddin and his uncle, Khuzaima Qutbuddin has split the two families right down the middle. While Syedna Saifuddin is the paternal grandfather of the children, the claimant to the position, Qutbuddin, was their maternal grandfather.
► One of Qutbuddin's daughters is married to Syedna Saifuddin's son and the other to his nephew, who also supports Saifuddin. Nine children aged between 18 and 8 are embroiled in the case.
► The problems began immediately after the death of 52nd Syedna in January 2014, as both the sides had foreseen a succession battle. The mothers immediately fled with the children to the USA and filed a custody case there.
► They virtually lost, when in February 2015 the court granted joint custody, with physical custody of all the kids to their fathers, and a clause for regular access to the mothers, observing that it was not the "home state" for the parties.
► Later in December, the Bombay High Court asked the families to set aside their bitter succession battle and consider the interests of the children caught in the crosshairs for a change, observing that succession seemed to be the paramount issue for the parties.
http://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/mumb ... 385344.cms
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