Bombay HC refuses Uddhav's plea to remove family history from caveat

Mumbai: On Monday, the Bombay High Court refused to entertain an application filed by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, seeking a direction to his estranged brother Jaidev to withdraw the family history cited in the latter's caveat regarding the 'will' of their father Bal Thackeray.

The Sena patriarch passed away on 17 November, 2012 and his son Uddhav filed a probate petition in January 2013, which was converted into 'a testamentary suit' as it was opposed by Jaidev, who has not got any share in the property.

A probate petition is a process by which a will is proved as valid or not valid.

Jaidev, who did not get a farthing in father's property, had filed a caveat in the probate petition urging that he may be heard in this matter.

A file photo of Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

A file photo of Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

Uddhav's application (Chamber Summons) seeking withdrawal of family history cited by Jaidev in the caveat, on Monday came under criticism from the court, which plainly told Uddhav that it cannot be considered.

Justice Gautam Patel was of the opinion that Jaidev had submitted documents to show that he was an integral part of the family and this cannot be challenged by the other side.

The court, therefore, allowed him to submit documents showing that he was close to the family patriarch.

On Monday, Jaidev submitted nine documents, of which two were admitted by the court. These pertained to the records of Lilavati Hospital about admission of the then Shiv Sena chief after he had taken ill prior to his demise and reply received from the hospital authorities about the treatment.

Rest of the documents were kept for identification by the court.

Meanwhile, Jaidev moved an application for summoning witnesses, including the editor of party's mouthpiece 'Saamna', representative of Lilavati hospital and other media editors.

The court said it would decide about the same on a later date.

Although Jaidev was present in the court on Monday, the judge deferred his cross-examination by Uddhav's lawyer as the latter placed before the court a letter written by Jaidev saying he would not depose.

The matter has been kept on 20 June for directions.

In July 2014, the high court had framed issues on Uddhav's plea. Jaidev had then contended that his father was not of sound mind when he had signed it.

The first issue framed by the high court is whether the will, dated 13 December, 2011, was executed and attested by Bal Thackeray.

The second issue is "whether the deceased was of sound and disposable mind at the time of executing the will" as Jaidev's lawyer today contended that it was not so.

Jaidev's counsel also alleged that Uddhav misled his father, which led to he (Uddhav) being bequeathed most of the property.

Following the allegation, the court framed another issue, "Whether plaintiff no. 3 (Uddhav) has played fraud and exercised undue influence on the deceased."

The last issue is "whether Uddhav is entitled to probate (court's certificate about validity) of the will."

Earlier, Uddhav had refused court's suggestion to arrive at an amicable settlement with Jaidev over the dispute on late Bal Thackeray's 'will', saying Jaidev's allegations against him and his father has caused "lot of bitterness".

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Updated Date: Apr 18, 2016 22:02:51 IST

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