The war over Bal Thackeray’s will got murkier with Jaidev Thackeray, son of the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, claiming in the Bombay High Court that Aishwarya Thackeray, the son from his former wife Smita, was not his child.
Jaidev, Bal Thackeray’s estranged son, is currently being cross-examined by the lawyer of his brother and the current Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Jaidev has challenged Bal Thackeray’s will which does not give him any share in the property.
Aishwarya is part of the will and got a share of property.
To a question about his movements between his flat and the Thackeray residence ‘Matoshree’ in suburban Bandra, Jaidev said post 2004, he stayed on the second floor of Matoshree whenever he visited it, since the first floor was occupied by “some unknown person”.
Asked by advocate Rohit Kapadia, Uddhav’s lawyer, who this person was, Jaidev replied, “The first floor was often locked up. And when it was not, some unknown person used to stay there. I did not know that person and when I asked my father, he said that somebody named Aishwarya was staying there.”
“Is Aishwarya your son?” advocate Kapadia asked.
“No, he is not. In fact, I have wanted to set the record on Aishwarya’s paternity straight for a while now but have not got a chance,” Jaidev said.
At this point, Justice Gautam Patel restrained Jaidev from elaborating and the court adjourned for lunch break.
When the court resumed, Justice Patel had a brief meeting with the lawyers of both parties and announced that the rest of the deposition would not be open for the public and media until further orders.
Jaidev had told the court earlier that he moved out of Matoshree in 1999 due to the increasing discord with Smita. Smita continued to live in Matoshree until their divorce in 2004, and during this period he regularly visited his father during the day but returned to his flat at night.
These visits stopped only a month before senior Thackeray passed away in November 2012, Jaidev said.