Bal Thackeray wanted low profile lawyer to prepare his will

Mumbai: The late Bal Thackeray wanted a discreet, low profile advocate to draft and execute his will, informed the first witness that was examined on Thursday in the Bombay high court. The court was hearing arguments on a dispute regarding the Shiv Sena supremo’s will.

Bal Thackeray wanted low profile lawyer to prepare his will

Advocate F D’Souza, one of the attesting witnesses (witnesses in whose presence a will has been signed), also told the court that Thackeray was very particular that advocates were absolutely discreet. “He had made us destroy all the notes, drafts prepared by us after the will was executed,” he said.

A dispute arose over the late Thackeray’s will dated December 13, 2011, after his estranged son Jaidev moved the high court alleging that the Shiv Sena supremo was not of sound mind while executing it. Thackeray had prepared and executed his first will in 1997. Thereafter, around eight to nine wills were executed until the final one in 2011. The witness deposed that Thackeray wanted the content to be very precise. He would read the drafts and it was also read out to him by them before he signed it.

D’Souza is among the two attesting witnesses which are going to be examined in the suit apart from other witnesses.

Uddhav and other petitioners, Sena leader and lawyer Anil Parab, former Sena MP and noted lawyer Adhik Shirodkar (who passed away recently), architect Shashi Prabhu and Ravindra Mhatre, who was personal assistant to the late leader, have attached a copy of the will purportedly signed by the late leader in the presence of two witnesses, Dr Jalil Parkar, a lung specialist who attended to the Sena chief for several years, and D’souza.

Bal Thackeray, who died on November 17, 2012, had signed his will on December 13, 2011. A copy of the will which was attached with Uddhav’s petition says that Thackeray Sr had appointed Uddhav, Adhik Shirodkar, Anil Parab, Shashi Prabhu and Ravindra Mhatre as the executors of the will.

The witness also informed the court that he along with his senior advocate Jerome Saldhana, would meet Thackeray at his residence Matoshri in the evenings. The discussion with regard to the will would go on for around an hour and half during the meetings. The examination of the witness will continue on December 10.