HC rejects Jaidev's plea for relief on Bal Thackeray's will

HC rejects Jaidev's plea for relief on Bal Thackeray's will

The Bombay High Court today refused to grant interim relief to Jaidev, estranged son of Shiv Sena supremo late Balasaheb Thackeray, seeking to restrain the beneficiaries of his father's will from selling or disposing of the family properties.

Uddhav Thackeray, Executive President of Sena and son of the Sena patriarch, who passed away in November 2012, is one of the beneficiaries of the will purportedly left behind by the senior Thackeray.

Justice R D Dhanuka, while rejecting Jaidev's application, observed that under the Indian Succession Act, this court does not have the powers to grant interim protection in respect of properties.

"The deceased is a Hindu and hence falls under the category of persons mentioned in section 269 (2) of the Act which has a specific bar on granting interim reliefs," Justice Dhanuka said.

The court said that while hearing a testamentary suit, no interim relief can be granted in relation to properties mentioned or not mentioned in the will.

"This court cannot decide on title issues while hearing a testamentary suit. Such remedies are available under the Code of Civil Procedure which the applicant (Jaidev) can avail of by filing an independent civil suit," Justice Dhanuka said.

Uddhav, who was anointed party's Executive President by his father, had earlier moved the High Court to probate the will of Thackeray, who died on November 17, 2012.

Jaidev had then filed an application challenging the will and seeking interim order, directing Uddhav and others from dealing with the family properties in any manner either by selling or disposing of or creating third party rights on such assets.

The probate petition of Uddhav, filed in January 2013 was converted into a testamentary suit as it was opposed by his brother Jaidev, who has not got any share in the property, said a lawyer involved in the case.

"I am not inclined to accept the applicant's arguments. When there is a specific bar on granting interim relief in such matters then this court cannot extend its powers," the court observed while dismissing Jaidev's application.

A probate petition is filed to get the will of a deceased person certified by a court.

The estate left behind by Thackeray includes property and bank deposits worth Rs 14.85 crore, according to the will signed by the Sena patriarch. A copy of the will has been attached to the probate petition filed by Uddhav.

The court also refused to express any opinion on the allegations levelled by Jaidev that Uddhav, being the leader of a political party, would use his influence to get the will executed.

Jaidev contested the will in an affidavit, saying the property was valued much more than the declared worth. According to him, the Bandra bungalow 'Matoshri' is itself valued at Rs 40 crore.

Jaidev contended that although he had separated from his father some years ago, he had cordial relations with him and that the senior Thackeray could not have signed such a will in which he has not been given any share in the family property.

Jaidev's lawyer Seema Sarnaik had earlier argued that at this juncture, her client was simply asking for protection of properties in the form of interim relief by restraining the beneficiaries from disposing of the assets left behind by Thackeray in his will.

Uddhav's lawyers had argued Jaidev's application was not maintainable and should be dismissed.

According to the will, Thackeray has given the first floor of his bungalow to his grandson Aishvarya, son of Jaidev and his divorced wife Smita. The second floor has been bequeathed to Uddhav and his sons Aditya and Tejas. The ground and third floors have been given to Uddhav.

No share has been given to Jaidev and Madhavi, the widow of Thackeray's eldest son Bindumadhav, who died in a road accident some years ago. Madhavi has not contested the will.

Thackeray had named former Sena MP and senior advocate Adhik Shirodkar, lawyer Anil Parab, architect Shashi Prabhu and Ravindra Mhatre, former personal assistant to the late Sena supremo, as executors of the will.

Dr Jalil Parkar, his personal physician, is the witness in whose presence Thackeray had signed the will.

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