Mumbai, July 19: Jaidev Thackeray, the son of the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, on Monday told the Bombay High Court that he had tried to maintain cordial relations with his brother Uddhav, particularly in the last few years, but the latter was unresponsive.
Jaidev has challenged before the High Court Thackeray's will of December 2011, which bequeaths a substantial part of the estate to Uddhav and does not give Jaidev anything.
"We have not met or talked to each other since the petition was filed. Uddhav does not return my phone calls or reply to my text messages though I have tried to keep our relations cordial," he said during a cross-examination by Uddhav's lawyer Rohit Kapadia before Justice Gautam Patel.
Being unwell, Jaidev appeared in a wheelchair and replied to all the 53 questions put to him while seated. The cross-examination focused on his two statements in an affidavit.
Jaidev has said that his father, Bal Thackeray, once told him that Uddhav handed him a set of documents and he signed them. Jaidev has also contended that his father had told him that he wanted to give him a share in the family property.
During cross-examination, Jaidev said he had not discussed these (alleged) facts with Uddhav, because his father did not want any discord between the brothers.
Asked why he did not find out what documents Uddhav had given to his father to sign, Jaidev said Bal Thackeray had said he did not want a discord between the brothers, so he (Jaidev) did not pursue the matter.
Replying to a question as to why he left Matoshree', the Thackeray residence, to never return, Jaidev, whose relations with his father were strained, said it was due to an incident in the family which he would not like to talk about now or even in future. This incident had nothing to do with his father, he added.
The cross-examination would continue tomorrow. According to Jaidev, Bal Thackeray was of "unsound mind" and was influenced by Uddhav when he signed the will on December 13, 2011.
Thackeray passed away in November 2012.
The HC had earlier asked both the parties to resolve the dispute through discussion, but it did not work out. The court had earlier examined witnesses F D'Souza, Bal Thackeray's personal physician Dr Jalil Parkar and Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab.
D'Souza told the court that Thackeray senior had made several wills. He prepared and executed his first will in 1997, and thereafter eight or nine wills were executed, the final one in 2011.