Only Uddhav among heirs was present when Bal Thackeray made will: Witness to HC

Mumbai: A witness today told the Bombay High Court that barring Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, no other legal heir or relative of Bal Thackeray was present when the Sena patriarch signed his will.

Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray

Bal Thackeray, the founder of Sena, passed away in November 2012. His will bequeaths a major share of property to Uddhav, while giving nothing to another son, Jaidev.

Jaidev has challenged the will, saying that his father was not of sound mind at the time of signing the will.

Advocate F D'souza, an attesting witness in whose presence the will was signed by Thackeray, was cross-examined today by Jaidev's lawyer Seema Sarnaik before Justice Gautam Patel.

To a question, D'souza said that among the family members, only Uddhav was present when the will draft was read out to his father.

Apart from Uddhav, executors of the will -- Anil Parab, Sashi Prabhu, senior lawyer and former MP Adhik Shirodkar and Bal Thackeray's personal assistant Ravindra Mhatre -- were also present.

To a question, D'souza said he did not contact other family members as he did not know them personally and did not have their contact numbers.

Advocate Sarnaik asked him whether he informed Uddhav or Mhatre that other legal heirs from Thackeray family should be present.

D'souza replied he had consulted advocate Shirodkar who said it was not legally required that all family members be present. Shirodkar, a former Rajya Sabha MP, died.

D'souza also said Thackeray always signed the will in Devnagari script and underlined it with the date. Earlier he had told the court that Thackeray's will had been updated or amended eight times over the years.The cross-examination will continue on December 12.

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