HC again foils man’s at­tempt to claim Mal­abar Hill flat

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - From p1 dna cor­re­spon­dent @ dna

Shah’s coun­sels KC Nichani and BG Saraf ar­gued that the sin­gle judge ( jus­tice Dhanuka) wrongly dis­missed the suit based on the Sonavane’s af­fi­davit, es­pe­cially since they did not get a chance to cross- ex­am­ine him.

Nichani ar­gued that Shah ought to have been given an op­por­tu­nity to sub­mit sec­ondary ev­i­dence in re­spect of the orig­i­nal will. This was de­nied by the sin­gle judge.

Shah’s brother Vikram op­posed it through his coun­sels Vivek Kantawala, Bhairavi War­avdekar, Urvi Dalvi and Sneha Nanand­kar. Kantawala ar­gued that Shah had nei­ther sought to cross- ex­am­ine ad­vo­cate Sonavane nor sought an op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide sec­ondary ev­i­dence.

Also, Shah failed to ex­plain the de­lay of al­most 13 years in in­sti­tut­ing pro­bate pro­ceed­ings. Ac­cord­ing to Bom­bay high court rules, sat­is­fac­tory ex­pla­na­tion is nec­es­sary where a pe­ti­tion for pro­bate is made for the first time af­ter three years of the death of a tes­ta­tor, Kantawala ar­gued.

The only rea­son given be­hind fil­ing a tes­ta­men­tary suit af­ter 13 years was that “the con­cerned author­ity re­cently asked for pro­bate to clear the ti­tle of the property left by the de­ceased, hence present pe­ti­tion is filed”.

But the high court wasn’t sat­is­fied. “Any de­lay be­yond three years af­ter the tes­ta­tor’s death would arouse sus­pi­cion and greater the de­lay, greater would be the sus­pi­cion in re­gard to the au­then­tic­ity of the will,” the court ob­served while dis­miss­ing the ap­peal. “The ex­pla­na­tion as afore­said, is far from sat­is­fac­tory. The ex­pla­na­tion is bliss­fully vague.” A 55- year- old man fell to his death from the 12th floor of his build­ing at Marol, And­heri ( East) on Satur­day. The in­ci­dent came to light at 6 am when lo­cals saw his body ly­ing in a pool of blood. The man has been iden­ti­fied as Ab­dul Mer­chant. The MIDC po­lice rushed Mer­chant to a lo­cal hospi­tal where he was de­clared dead. An ac­ci­den­tal death re­port has been reg­is­tered by the MIDC po­lice and they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case from all pos­si­ble an­gles. Mer­chant’s neigh­bours are also be­ing ques­tioned by the po­lice to as­cer­tain whether this was an ac­ci­dent or a case of sui­cide.

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