Siblings to testify in Sh2bn property row

Tuesday February 12 2019

Mr Jaspal Kaur Nagi

Joginder Singh Dhanjal (centre) and his son Kavir Singh (left) chat with their lawyer Mohamed Ali outside the High Court in Mombasa. A Mombasa court has appointed Joginder Singh and his sister Sukhwant Kaur Dhanjal, as joint administrators of the family's Sh2.1 billion estate. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The five children of Mombasa tycoon Jaswant Singh Boor Singh Dhanjal, who died in 2004, are to give oral evidence in a dispute over his Sh2.1 billion estate.

Family Division Judge Mugure Thande noted that the siblings had raised issues that require the court to take their evidence orally as opposed to writing.

“There are issues raised which, in my view, require hearing by witness’ word of mouth,” the judge said.

Justice Thande also directed the parties to file all documents they are seeking to rely on by April 30, noting that any document filed after this date will not be admitted.

“Given that all parties, save for one, and all their counsels are present, any party that does not attend on the hearing date shall be deemed to have opted not to testify,” the judge said.

This new developments suggest that the judge will rely on the siblings’ oral testimony and their supporting documents in distributing the estate to bring to an end the 14-year-old court battle.

This comes after Daljit Singh Dhanjal, who has been in control of their father’s property, failed to hand over all documents relating to the estate to the new administrators, Joginder Singh Dhanjal and his sister Sukhwant Kaur Dhanjal, who were appointed by the court last year.

Failure to make the documents available has crippled confirmation of grant and distribution of the property among the five siblings.

Justice Thande had appointed Mr Joginder and Ms Sukhwant as new administrators and directed their brother Daljit to hand over all documents relating to the estate to the new administrators.

When the case came up for confirmation of summons of grant, Mr Joginder and Ms Sukhwant said Mr Daljit had not fully complied with the court orders.

“Daljit has not handed over original documents to the new administrators as the court had directed on October 31,” they said through their lawyer Christine Kipsang.

The two had accused Daljit of taking control of the estate and excluding his other siblings.