K K Birla seeks right to challenge purported 1999 Will
Kolkata, Apr 5 (UNI) Mr K K Birla, one of the named executors of the 1982 Mutual Will of Mr M P Birla, today sought the right to contest the probate proceedings, initiated by R S Lodha.
Senior counsel S B Mookherjee, appearing for Mr K K Birla before Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Tapan Kumar Dutta of the Calcutta High Court, asserted that a suit had been filed against the propounder of the ''bogus'' 1999 Will disentitling him to deal with the estate of Priyamvada Birla in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of her 1982 Will and for other consequential reliefs.
Further, applications for grant of probate of the Mutual Wills executed by the Birla couple had also been filed.
Mr K K Birla's bundle of rights and duties emanating from the Mutual Will would be prejudicially affected if the 1999 Will is not allowed to be dislodged, the counsel said.
Interpreting various sections of the succession law, Mr Mookherjee insisted that the consistent view of the courts in numerous cases is that all persons claiming to have the barest possibility of interest in the estate of the deceased are entitled to maintain caveat. The courts are also vested with wide discretion to issue citation to any person claiming to have the slightest interest, he said.
Concluding his arguments, Mr Mookherjee submitted that the 1999 Will had been challenged on all conceivable grounds. It is the most unnatural Will where under everything has been bequeathed to Mr R S Lodha, to the exclusion of all others, who was in a fiduciary position vis-a-vis the deceased lady, he added.
The estate of Ms Priyamvada Birla is valued at a staggering Rs 5000 crore. After inventory at her residence at 17B, Gurusaday Road, by the Joint Special Officers, assets worth crores were recovered.
Hence, Mr K K Birla's caveatable interest cannot be overlooked and denied, the counsel argued.
Further hearing of the matter has been fixed on April 10.
UNI XC SJC VJ RK1903