HC rules George Fernandes to stay with wife Leila Fernandes
Jul 6, 2010
NEW DELHI: After a frail George Fernandes appeared in a wheelchair before the Delhi high court on Monday, the HC, in an hour-long hearing held in the judge's chamber, said the ailing former Union minister would continue to stay with his wife Leila Kabir and that his brothers can visit him there.
Justice V K Shali, who held one-on-one discussion with 80-year-old Fernandes who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, refused to interfere with the present arrangement in which he is under the care of his wife at her residence.
Lawyers from both the sides said with the HC ordering that the existing arrangement continue, the brothers could visit Fernandes like in the past.
The judge, after consulting Leila Kabir and his three brothers in his chamber for an hour, said that the case would now be taken up for further hearing on July 19.
Fernandes, brought by his wife to the courtroom in a wheelchair, was unable to speak when his supporters and family members tried to talk to him. He looked lost and was barely able to walk on his own. He was helped by security personnel and relatives while being taken to the judge's chamber.
Dressed in a green kurta and white pyjamas with a saffron scarf, the leader reached the court premises in the second half and left a few hours later. As soon as the court proceedings began, the lawyer, appearing for the brothers, pleaded that it should be conducted ‘in chamber' (in private), which was supported by the
The judge then agreed to hear the case in chamber and called Fernandes, his warring kin along with their lawyers to his chamber. Justice Shali then asked all the relatives and lawyers to leave in order to have a one-on-one talk with the leader to know his views. Only a lawyer conversant in Konkani was permitted to be present in the chamber to assist it as a translator.
The judge, after consulting Fernandes, in which the latter could not respond clearly to questions, asked his wife and brothers to see him separately in the chamber. Later, talking to reporters outside the courtroom, the lawyer revealed that Fernandes was seemingly able to understand whatever was being put to him but was unable to respond and his voice remained in