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