The Bombay High Court Monday said it would decide on October 27 the next date on which Sanjay Raut, MP and the editor of Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, will be examined in a suit filed by Jaidev Thackeray, son of Sena patriarch late Bal Thackeray, over his father’s will.
Raut, who had been asked to appear as a witness today, did not turn up. His lawyer said he was not in Mumbai. Justice Gautam Patel warned that if Raut remained absent at the next hearing, the court might consider issuing a warrant against him. On October 27 the court would decide the next date for Raut’s appearance.
Jaidev has challenged Bal Thackeray’s last will, made on December 13, 2011, which did not give him anything but bequeathed a substantial share of the property to Jaidev’s brother and the incumbent Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. Jaidev, whose relations with Bal Thackeray were strained, alleged that his father was of unsound mind and under Uddhav’s influence when he made the will.
Bal Thackeray passed away in November 2012. The High Court had earlier asked the two parties to try and settle the dispute amicably, but they failed to reach a compromise.
Jaidev’s lawyer Monday examined Saamana photographer Rajesh Waradkar to bring on record a photograph of a private event attended by Bal Thackeray. ‘Saamana’ had published the photograph.
Waradkar confirmed that he had clicked the picture. He also stated that he used to cover, for his newspaper, private functions attended by Thackeray. Another witness had told the court earlier that Thackeray had made several wills since 1997. In all those the beneficiaries remained the same but the assets given to each beneficiary kept changing.