Actor Sanjay Dutt has issued a letter to the Bank of Baroda’s Walkeshwar branch, saying contents of a safety deposit vault bequeathed to him by Malabar Hill resident Nishi Harishchandra Tripathi be handed over to her family members.
Interestingly, Dutt had no idea who Tripathi was, till a phone call from the police on January 29 informed him that she had died a fortnight earlier and had willed the money from her account and her bank locker to him.
The police have concluded that Tripathi, who passed away aged 62, was a big fan of Dutt. Just how big a fan she was of the actor came as a shock to her family members, when they discovered scores of letters issued by Tripathi to her bank, willing all she had to the actor.
The bank locker has still remained unopened as legal formalities were on, even as Dutt, through his attorney Subhash Jadhav made it clear that he didn’t want to have anything to do with Tripathi’s money or property, and that it should go to her family.
Mirror has learnt that Tripathi, who died on January 15 after battling terminal illness, was a homemaker residing with her 80-yearold mother Shanti, and siblings Arun, Ashish and Madhu. The family resides at Triveni Apartments at Malabar Hill, where a 3BHK flat measuring around 2,500 sq ft costs upwards of Rs 10 crore.
Tripathi’s family realised she had willed all her belongings to Dutt only a day after her prayer meeting at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Girgaum Chowpatty, when the family’s legal advisor informed them about the development.
Subsequently, a representative of the Bank of Baroda’s Walkeshwar branch shared with Dutt’s attorney and Tripathi’s family members a detailed letter and nomination form that she had submitted to the bank a few months before her death. The bank said the nominee mentioned was “Film star Sanjay Dutt” and the nominee’s address was that of Dutt’s Pali Hill home. It has also come to light that several valuables were also willed to Dutt via letters to the bank.
“We have communicated that Sanjay Dutt will be seeking no claim on the belongings and will adhere to any legal proceedings necessary to transfer the valuables back to the family,” Dutt’s attorney Jadhav said.
A Mirror correspondent visited Tripathi’s residence yesterday, but the family refused to comment on the matter. Advocate Chetan Alai, who is representing the family, also preferred not to speak on the matter, even as Jadhav said Dutt was also willing to assist the family with any documents required from his side.
Sources close to Dutt said he was in Kolkata for a film festival when a police officer told him that a fan had willed all her belongings to him. The actor had been shooting for producers Rahul Mittra and Raju Chadha’s Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3, and was said to be shocked by the level of fandom. “As actors, we are used to fans naming their children after us, chasing us down the street and even giving us gifts. But this has shocked me. I will not be claiming anything. I did not know Nishi and I am very overwhelmed by the entire incident to speak about it,” Dutt said.
(Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror)