Division of father’s property made difficult by his ignorance:
My father (87), is founder-owner of his retail clothes & readymade shop in Pune & still runs the shop for 12 hrs a day. My younger brother joined him as a partner at his age of 25 in 1982. I, the undersigned, was employed in Mumbai since 1979. My father & Younger brother both running the shop jointly as a partner since 1982, when he ie my brother has also got married. There is no written partnership between them. But according to me, my father has 50% share & at least 10% goodwill over the business profit. The business has grown multi fold since then. I & my four sisters were married before that. Out of this business income my father & younger brother acquired neighbouring & other immovable properties & extended/expanded the shop, home & the business. But surreptitiously without the knowledge of the father & us, he acquired them in his name & his wife. So far nobody suspected any foul play & not questioned. He also spent income from this business for his two daughter’s marriage & his son’s education abroad ie MS (IT) from USA.
Recently my father wished to divide his property between us so that there is no dispute between us in future. However to our astonishment, my brother says all the properties acquired through this business are his. My father was also shocked to know this because he was kept in the dark & was not shown the documents & fed with the false information. He further said he will not allow the partition of this property acquired thru this business.
When i pointedly asked then where are the earnings of the father of last 32 yrs. He says only the stock in the shop is his earning. He has nothing in his name.
Thus he has committed a fraud by cheating the father & all the rest of us and grabbed all the earnings of my father.
I asked my father what is this? He said that he has stopped asking what he does about the cash since he & his wife started abusing & ill-treating him as well as my mother. They are not taking care of my parents health & even he complained about not serving the food properly. He says he had no choice but to work in his own shop /creation to maintain his body & soul together. He used to come to my place in Mumbai but could not adjust Mumbai life & weather and used to go back to his shop after just a week’s stay. We were not aware of these issues at all.
Although, he is so old he still serves the customers in the shop. He has a sharp mind, does calculations correctly, is attentive. He puts 12 hrs a day in the shop while in his own words my brother works in the shop for only half the time. He fears his younger son & his wife because they abuse him & do not respect.
The total area of acquired land is 3000 sqft of plot & the structure over it, just adjacent to our old house. He is planning to redevelop the whole property & sent plans for municipal approval. Under such circumstances,:
1. Should i give notice to get the details of all immovable & movable properties in his & his wife’s name, cash deposits circulating w/ traders, gold/jewellery, etc.
2. Should i give notice to get all the business account books for last 5 yrs at least.
3. My brother, who is keeping all the accounts, is not disclosing any financial details. Once my father knows about all his properties ie Immovables/cash/gold & jewellery etc, then he can gift them as he wishes to all his childrens ie (we two brothers & 4 sisters). But the question is how to make the affair smooth.