Thackeray clan in property dispute over Shiv Sena patriarch`s will

Unbelievable, as it may sound, just over a year after the Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray`s death, his sons are now engaged in a legal battle over their father`s property worth several crores.

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Updated: Jan 21, 2014, 14:21 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

Mumbai: Unbelievable, as it may sound, just over a year after the Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray`s death, his sons are now engaged in a legal battle over their father`s property worth several crores.

As per reports, the late Shiv Sena founder did not bequeath any share of his property to the families of his elder sons Bindu Madhav and Jaidev. The late Shiv Sena patriarch, supposedly, made a will in 2011 in which he named his three-floored “Matoshree” bungalow in the posh Bandra locality in three parts.

According to the `disputed` will, the ground floor of the house is kept for party related works and meetings. Bindu Madhav had died in a road mishap in 1996.

Jaidev’s ex-wife Smita’s son Aishwarya has been given the entire first floor in Matoshree. But Smita has been barred from residing in the bungalow. However, the cost of the maintenance of the floor allotted to Thackeray`s grandson has to be borne by Aishwarya`s mother Smita. 

The top floor of the house has been completely allotted to Bal Thackeray`s youngest son Uddhav, who is now the chief patron of the party. 

Apart from “Matoshree”, senior Thackeray has also bequeathed his properties in Bhandardara and Karjat to Uddhav. 

In the ‘disputed’ will, no property share has been given to Bindu Madhav’s son Nihar. According to the `disputed` will, Bal Thackeray didn’t leave anything for his grandson since he didn’t approve of his daughter in-law Madhavi’s “erratic behaviour”. 

Upset over his late father`s `disputed` will, Bala Saheb`s second son Jaidev has moved court against his brother Uddhav over control of property and assets worth several crores. Jaidev has questioned the veracity of the will, claiming that his father who fought for Marathi all throughout his life can never make his will in English. 

Challenging the `disputed` will being presented as his father’s in the Bombay High Court, Jaidev says it could not have been signed by his father since he was very weak in his last days. 

In his petition, Jaidev claimed that the total worth of property, assets and other bank deposits is much higher than Rs. 14.85 crore as stated in the document furnished to the court by his younger brother Uddhav.

Jaidev claimed in his petition that their paternal home, “Matoshree”, is itself worth around Rs. 40 crore. Besides, Jaidev has sought his share in the Sena Bhavan, the Shiv Sena headquarters in Dadar.

In support of his claim, Jaidev has stated that though he was not staying with the family, he was in regular touch with his father and also spoke to him frequently and hence it is impossible to believe that his father left nothing for him.

The ugly spat over late Bal Thackeray`s property has brought the otherwise reclusive Jaidev once again in the eye of a storm. Jaidev, who according to many is a copy cat of the senior Thackeray, has always been the controversial child in the Thackeray family.
Married thrice, once to Smita Thackeray, Jaidev never got along with his father and often chose to stay away from him. In fact after divorcing Smita, Jaidev stayed aloof but she continued to stay in Thackeray`s Bandra residence.
According to Jaidev, Smita was way too ambitious.

In his will, the late Bal Thackeray is reported to have written: “I have all the love and affection for my son, Jaidev whom I consider to be a brilliant boy. Unfortunately, Jaidev has led a rebellious life. Several years ago, Jaidev, on his own accord left ‘Matoshree’. Jaidev and his wife Smita have divorced and Jaidev resides elsewhere with his present wife. All this has hurt me a lot and has made me decide not to leave any part of my estate to him.”

Thackeray further states: “My son, Uddhav, has been a great source of strength to me and has always been by my side, especially in times of my illness. It makes me very happy to know that Uddhav is always concerned about me and is constantly there to take care of me. Uddhav was also instrumental in the construction of Matoshree. It is my desire that Uddhav lives a peaceful life. I do not desire that Uddhav’s peace of mind be disturbed by bickering among my daughters-in-law. I put the responsibility on Uddhav to ensure that peace and harmony is maintained in my family. I am confident that Uddhav will act in a responsible and mature manner and maintain cordiality in the Thackeray family.”