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Priyamvada not 'capable' to make 1999 will

September 23, 2004 10:47 IST

The Birla family questioned the capability of Priyamvada Birla in making the 1999 will on grounds of her modest education and feeble health.

Arun Jaitley, representing Basant Kumar Birla, said in his arguments at the Calcutta high court on Wednesday that Priyamvada Birla underwent kidney transplantation in 1981 and was living on borrowed kidneys. Post-surgery she was under heavy medication.

Besides, her entire will spoke of charity and only one line mentioned that the property was to go to R S Lodha. This was inconsistent with the tenor of the rest of the will, as well as her late husband's desire to leave all the properties to charity, Jaitley argued. Jaitley said Priyamvada Birla had received modest education. She was not well-versed in the English language.

The arguments were in support of the broad outline of Jaitley's case, which essentially was that the will of 1999 could not have been Priyamvada Birla's will.

He went on to allege the fiduciary relationship between Rajendra Singh Lodha and her was misused and abused.

The matter being heard in the court of Justice K J Sengupta relates to the petition of R S Lodha seeking discharge of caveats filed by K K Birla, G P Birla, B K Birla and Yashovardhan Birla.

Jaitley alleged RS Lodha acted fraudulently despite having full knowledge of mutual will made in 1982 by both M P Birla and Priyamvada Birla. He set up a rival will in 1999 for his personal benefit.

Jaitley said, he would use four documents -- the mutual wills of 1981, the mutual wills of 1982, Priyamvada Birla's will of 1999 and the codicil -- to prove his points.

Jaitley brushed aside allegations of disputes between the Birla family factions, made by Lodha's counsel Anindya Mitra on the basis of a letter written by the late Ashok Birla, father of Yashovardhan Birla.

To prove that Priyamvada Birla had close relations with other members of the family, Jaitley pointed out she accompanied K K Birla when he had gone for bypass surgery and also bore the entire expense of Yashovardhan Birla's marriage.

Jaitley argued if pursuant to an agreement entered between two persons, a mutual irrevocable will was executed, after the death of one testator, the other had no right to make any will.
BS Bureau in Kolkata