Dr Jaleel Parkar, the personal physican of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, told the Bombay High Court today that the late leader had been chronically ill since 2007 and a trained medical staff from Lilavati Hospital here accompanied him whenever he went out.
Parkar was being examined as a witness in the case related to a dispute between Bal Thackeray's two sons, Uddhav and Jaidev, over his will. Thackeray's last will, made on December 13, 2011, does not give anything to Jaidev, his estranged son, while bequeathing a major portion of his estate to the present Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
While Uddhav has filed a `probate petition' to get the will certified, Jaidev has challenged its validity, saying that his father was of unsound mind when he signed it. Parkar, who examined Thackeray nearly every day, signed the will as a witness. Bal Thackeray died in November 2012.
He told the court today that he had accompanied Thackeray during election rallies in February 2012 at Bandra Kurla Complex here and in neighbouring Thane, the annual Dussera rally at Shivaji Park, and also when Thackeray called on cartoonist R K laxman in Pune.
Parkar was responding to a question asked by advocate Seema Sarnaik, Jaidev's counsel. Sarnaik asked whether Thackeray was "severely ill" since 2007 when Parkar took over as his physician. To this, Parkar said "I do not think `severely ill' is the right term.
I would say he had a chronic illness for a long period." To another question, Parkar said Thackeray used to have "approximately 1-1/2 glasses of wine, twice a day". In January 2011, Parkar had also signed an earlier will made by the late leader.
He told the court that Thackeray called him on December 13, 2011, to sign the present will, saying that he had made corrections in the earlier one. The hearing would continue before Justice Guatam Patel tomorrow.