SC to hear case on Mysuru-based taxidermist's assets tomorrow

SC to hear case on Mysuru-based taxidermist's assets tomorrow

A dispute over claims on properties worth more than Rs 500 crore of world-renowned Mysuru-based taxidermist Edwin Joubert Van Ingen has reached a crucial stage before the Supreme Court. It will be heard on Friday.

Taxidermy is the art of preparing, stuffing and mounting the skins of animals (especially vertebrates) for display (as hunting trophies or museum display).
Van Ingen, who died a bachelor at the age of 101 on March 12, 2013, left huge properties including 220 acres of coffee estate and wildlife trophies.

However, Michael Floyd Eshwer claims to be Ingen’s adopted son and legal heir of the properties.

Ingen, a British national, lodged a criminal complaint against Eshwer with Nazarbad police in Mysuru on March 2, 2013, alleging cheating, fraud and forgery after he realised that some of his properties had been taken over by Eshwer.

Acting on a plea by Eshwer, the High Court of Karnataka had, on June 19, 2014, not only quashed the FIR at the preliminary stage of the investigation on the complaint, but also directed the government to restore possession of the landmark ‘Bissal Munti House’ in Mysuru, 220 acres of plantation and wildlife trophies of the taxidermist to the petitioner. However, a CID probe was initiated.

HC order challenged
Aggrieved by the order, Tilly Gifford, who identified herself as niece of Ingen, approached the apex court, challenging the HC order.

A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi will consider her petition filed through advocate Sanjay M Nuli, wherein she contended that the properties in Nazarbad, gifted by the Wadiyars, were transferred in the name of the accused without obtaining mandatory permission from the Reserve Bank of India since Ingen was a British National till death.

Gifford said the suspect made Ingen execute a will bequeathing his estate, bank deposits in India and UK, company shares, animal trophies, pelt and gun licences in his favour after the death of the complainant.

Gifford said the suspect had duped Ingen by creating documents “fraudulently” and threw him out of his house without proper food and basic needs during his last years.

Eshwer denied all allegations before the court, claiming that all transactions are legal and complaining that Ingen’s extended family was framing him.
DH News Service

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