Court summons Fernandes as family spat turns ugly

Last Updated: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 00:16

New Delhi: The custody battle over George
Fernandes today took a new turn with the Delhi High Court
asking his wife Leila Kabir to produce him before it on July 5
to know his mind.

The court directed Kabir to produce the 80-year-old
ailing politician as "it wants to ascertain what he
wants".

"The person who, due to some incapability, was not
able to be heard. The court wants to know what is in his mind
to settle the issue," Justice V K Shali said directing Kabir
to present Fernandes in the court at 4 PM on July 5.

The court was hearing the petition filed by Fernandes`
brothers Richard and Michael seeking custody of their brother
alleging that the former union minister, who is suffering from
Alzheimer`s disease, is not being properly treated by his
wife.

The judge said he was concerned about the health of
Fernandes. "I am not on the legal dimension of the case. My
concern is only about his health," Justice Shali said.

The court also asked the two sides to find out a
lawyer who knows Konkani language so that he can help
translate Fernandes` statement.

The order in this regard was passed after the court
was told that Fernandes speaks in English as well as in
Konkani language with his brothers.

The brothers of the leader also sought the court`s
permission to shift him to his official residence at 3,
Krishna Menon Marg from the Panchsheel Park residence of his
wife.

This was objected to by Kabir`s lawyer Aman Lekhi who
said Fernandes was being treated at a private hospital in
south Delhi and there was no need to shift him to his official
residence.

The brothers of Fernandes today filed a fresh
application seeking constitution of a medical board to
ascertain his condition.

They also wanted a local commissioner to be appointed
to ascertain the wish of Fernandes which was objected to by
Kabir`s lawyer who alleged that the brothers have not met him
for a month.

The tussle between Kabir and Fernandes` brothers had
led to an uproarious scene yesterday outside the leader`s
official residence in the capital.

Both brothers accompanied by Fernandes` companion
Jaya Jaitley had come to the 3-Krishna Menon Marg residence to
collect books, furniture and paintings which they claimed
belonged to them. However, they were stopped by police from
entering the residence as the caretaker of the house S D Singh
objected to their entry.

Fernandes` brothers have alleged that Kabir was not
allowing them access to the veteran leader.

They also alleged that she was staying separately from
Fernandes for the past 25 years and had now come back to him
as she was eyeing his property.

Countering the allegations, Kabir has alleged that the
suit was filed at the instance of Jayam Jaitley.

She said the brothers stayed outside Delhi and had
never visited the former minister. She claimed that the
property worth crores of rupees was the motivating factor for
them to be here.

Earlier, the court had asked the warring family
members to resolve their differences and provide best medical
treatment to the leader.

The counsel for both the parties had agreed to the
court`s suggestion to sit together to find out a solution but
they failed to come to an amicable settlement.

PTI



First Published: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 00:16

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