Uddhav was only heir present at the reading of father’s will: Lawyer

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 11 Desember 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The last will of former Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray was read out only to one son Uddhav, his political heir and main beneficiary. The others present at the reading in the Matoshree bungalow bedroom of the late leader on January 9, 2013 were the four executors to the will, advocate Flanian D'Souza who had prepared the will informed the Bombay HC on Wednesday.

Later the same night, the lawyer finalised and affirmed a pre-prepared draft of the probate petition too. The other legal heirs of Thackeray, including his estranged son Jaidev whom he disinherited, were not called by the lawyer who said he "didn't know them personally". Besides, D'Souza said, "I remember asking advocate Adhik Shirodkar if the family had to be present. He told me there was no legal requirement." Shirodkar, one of the executors, expired this year.

In the normal course, a will has to be read out before all heirs, D'souza agreed in court.

Jaidev's case is that his father, who signed the will almost a year prior to his November 17, 2012 death in the presence of his doctor Dr Jalil Parkar and his advocate D'Souza, had "cognitive dysfunction" and could not have signed the will. The five executors, including Uddhav are Sena leader Anil Parab, well-known advocate Adik Shirodkar, architect Suresh Prabhu and Ravindra Mhatre, the late Sena chief's personal assistant.

D'Souza is being cross-examined by Jaidev's lawyer Seema Sarnaik before Justice Gautam Patel in the HC in the dispute between the two Thackeray brothers over the validity of their father's December 2011 will. He said he read the will, after retrieving it from his office safe, on January 9. Uddhav asked him during a December 2012 ceremony following Thackeray's death to fix, with Mhatre, a meeting for the executors, said D'Souza. "Uddhav told me to contact Shirodkar if I needed anything..." said D'souza which he did in mid December of 2012 before the will's reading. "He told me to go ahead with the drafting the probate petition... Considering his (Thackeray's) personality and the press being curious about its contents, there should not be much of a gap between the will being read and petition,'' said the lawyer, adding he did not discuss the will's content with Shirodkar prior to the reading.

Shailesh Vaidya, partner at law firm Kanga &Co, prepared the drafts of the petition with some blanks to be filled in later, based on information given by D'Souza who said his own affidavit for the petition had no blanks that he could recall. But later, grilled by Justice Patel, he said after "unusual amount of delay" he may have called Dr Parkar earlier for his address details and that "two details were added to my affidavit on January 9 at 4.30 pm" as also changes to couple of paras. The judge said he was "just warming up" and will continue with the deposition on Friday.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Uddhav,Reading,present,heir,father's will

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