Sanjay Raut. Pic/PTI
Peeved by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's failure to respond to a summons, the Bombay High Court on Monday admonished him, warning him that if he doesn't appear willingly, the court would be compelled to employ other means to ensure his attendance at the next hearing.
"If he does not come on his owna then the court will make him come," remarked Justice G. S. Patel during the ongoing trial of the validity of the will left by the late Shiv Sena founder-patriarch Bal Thackeray.
Raut, who is executive editor of 'Saamana', did not respond to the court's summons of August 26, seeking his presence for cross-examination as a witness for Jaidev Thackeray, the older sibling of Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray.
The court had sought the presence of either Saamana's editor (Uddhav Thackeray) or executive editor (Raut) in the ongoing matter.
An aide to Raut informed the court that he was not in a position to respond to the summons since he was out of Mumbai and expected to return by October 18.
Accordingly, Justice Patel posted the matter for October 27 directing Raut to appear before the court as a "last chance".
The late Thackeray's sons - Jaidev and Uddhav - have locked horns over their father's will signed in December 2011, which left most of the family assets and properties to the younger son, Uddhav.
Jaidev has challenge this on various grounds and contended his father was of 'unsound mind' at the time.