A little over a year after the death of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, his sons Uddhav and Jaidev are locked in a legal row over property worth crores left behind by the party patriarch.
Uddhav, who was anointed party's Executive President by his father, has moved the Bombay high court to probate the will of his father, who died on November 17, 2012.
The probate petition of Uddhav, filed in January 2013 by solicitor firm Kanga and Company, has been converted into a testamentary suit as it was opposed by his brother Jaidev, who has not got any share in the property, said a lawyer involved in the case.
The matter is expected to come up for hearing on January 27 before Justice Roshan Dalvi. The court might ask the parties to accept or deny documents.
A probate petition is filed to get the will of a deceased person certified by a court.
The estate left behind by Thackeray includes property and bank deposits worth Rs 14.85 crores, according to the will signed by the Sena patriarch. A copy of the will has been attached to the probate petition filed by Uddhav.
Jaidev, the estranged son of Thackeray, has contested the will in an affidavit, saying the property was valued much more than the declared worth. According to him, the Bandra bungalow 'Matoshri' is itself valued at Rs 40 crore.
Jaidev has contended that although he had separated from his father some years ago, he had cordial relations with him and that the senior Thackeray could not have signed such a will in which he has not been given any share in the family property.
Jaidev is currently staying separately with his third wife. His divorced wife Smita also stays separately. Jaidev's lawyer Seema Sarnaik refused comment on the development, saying the matter was subjudice.
According to the will, Thackeray has given the first floor of his bungalow to his grandson Aishvarya, son of Jaidev and his divorced wife Smita. The second floor has been bequeathed to Uddhav and his sons Aditya and Tejas. The ground and third floors have been given to Uddhav.
No share has been given to Jaidev and Madhavi, the widow of Thackeray's eldest son Bindumadhav, who died in a road accident some years ago. Madhavi has not contested the will.
Thackeray had named former Sena MP and senior advocate Adhik Shirodkar, lawyer Anil Parab, architect Shashi Prabhu and Ravindra Mhatre, former personal assistant to the late Sena supremo as executors of the will.
Dr Jalil Parkar, his personal physician, is the witness in whose presence Thackeray had signed the will. All of them refused to comment.
Image: Uddhav (left) and Jaidev (right) along with cousin Raj at Bal Thackeray’s funeral in Mumbai last year
Photograph: Satish Bodas/Rediff.com