The Bombay high court on Monday refused to entertain a plea filed by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray seeking to expunge certain portions out of the evidence affidavit submitted in the High Court by his estranged brother Jaidev in the ongoing litigation over the validity of their father Bal Thackeray’s will.
Uddhav through his lawyer had filed a plea claiming that several portions in Jaidev’s affidavit were irrelevant, beyond proceedings, and were likely to waste unnecessary time during the hearing. He thus, sought that these portions be expunged and not considered as evidence by the court.
The ‘portions’ that Uddhav’s plea referred to consisted, among other things, of some newspaper clippings and a statement made by Jaidev claiming that as per their family arrangement, Bal Thackeray’s residential bunglow Matoshree was to be divided into three equal parts among himself, Uddhav and their late brother Bindumadhav’s family.
The above, Uddhav argued in his plea, had no relevance to the ongoing case.
Jaidev’s lawyer meanwhile, argued against Uddhav’s plea saying that he was trying to get all such material expunged that could lead the court to believe that Jaidev was a “part of the family dealings” and that even though he had moved out of Matoshree, he shared some sort of a “relationship with the family.”
However, Justice Gautam Patel, who was presiding over the matter, rejected Uddhav’s plea saying that it was “too early a stage” in the trail to expunge nay material out of evidence. Justice Patel also said that “everything that Jaidev had stated in his evidence affidavit had some relevance.” Through these statements, he was trying to establish his closeness to Bal Thackeray and the rest of the family, Justice Patel said.
He went on to say that through the above statement that Uddhav had particularly objected to, Jaidev was trying to establish in court that “since it had agreed upon that Matoshree would be divided into three equal parts, and yet Bal Thackeray bequeathed most of the bungalow to Uddhav, he must not have been of sound mind ta the time of finalising his will.”
“This is a sensitive and complex matter involving family dealings and thus, I am not inclined to expunge any material out of the evidence affidavit,” Justice Patel said.
The two brothers have been litigating in HC since 2014 after Uddhav filed a probate application in the High Court to verify and then implement their father’s will.
As per the will, Bal Thackeray has bequeathed most of the family property, including two out of the three floors of Matoshree to Uddhav.
Jaidev has contested the will saying that Bal Thackeray was ill and of unsound mind ta the time of finalising it.
The hearing on the probate application will continue on June 20 this year.