The Bombay high court on Friday asked the Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his estranged elder brother Jayadev to settle the dispute over the will left by their father, Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray, amicably.
Though Jayadev's side was willing to give it a try, there was no response from Uddhav's side, as the lawyers could not contact the Sena chief.
Justice Gautam Patel has scheduled the hearing on the testamentary suit filed by Uddhav seeking probate (court validation) of the will executed by his father, on December 17. Uddhav's lawyers may inform the court on December 17 if they are willing to consider the HC's suggestion to settle the dispute amicably. Bal Thackeray's estranged son Jayadev is contesting Uddhav's claim in the suit.
Meanwhile, during the course of cross examination advocate Flanian D'Souza, who had prepared the will of the late Sena supremo, revealed that Bal Thackeray had not deleted the names of any of the beneficiaries. Jayadev's counsel, advocate Seema Sarnaik, had sought to know from D'souza if the Sena supremo had made any changes in the will.
"I do not recollect him having deleted any beneficiary," D'Souza replied. When asked whether all the meetings for the last will were conducted in November 2011, D'Souza replied in affirmative.
Earlier, advocate D'Souza has told the court that Bal Thackeray had executed 8 or 9 wills between 1997 and 2011, when his last will was executed.
The will of the Sena supremo has become a subject of the legal battle among the siblings, as their father has purportedly bequeathed all his movable and immovable properties to Uddhav, leaving nothing for Jayadev and the family of Bindumadhav.
Jayadev, who had estranged from his father years ago, has questioned the validity of the will and contended that his father had a cognitive dysfunction and could not have signed the will in such ailing condition.
Bal Thackeray had named four party leaders as executors of his will: Anil Parab, advocate Adik Shirodkar, architect Suresh Prabhu and his personal assistant, Ravindra Mhatre.
Uddhav and the four executors approached the high court by filing a testamentary petition, which has been converted into a suit after Jayadev sought to contest it claiming right over one third estate left behind by his deceased father.