New Delhi: After a chamber-hearing for
over an hour in the custody battle, the Delhi High Court today
said the ailing former union minister George Fernandes will
stay with his wife Leila Kabir and his brothers can visit him.
Justice V K Shali, who held one-on-one discussion with
80-year-old Fernandes 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 that the court
has allowed brothers to visit the leader like in the past.
The judge, after consulting Kabir and three brothers
of Fernandes in his chamber for an hour, said that the case
will be taken up for further hearing on July 19.
Fernandes, brought by his wife to the courtroom in a
wheelchair, was unable to speak as his supporters and family
members tried to talk to him.
The leader appeared lost and was not able to walk
on his own. He was helped by security personnel and relatives
in being taken to the judge`s chamber.
Wearing a green Kurta and white pyjama with a saffron
scarf, the leader reached the court premises at around 14:35
hours and left at 15:50 hours.
As soon as the court proceedings begin, the lawyer,
appearing for the brothers, pleaded that it should be
conducted in chamber, which was supported by the wife`s
The Judge then agreed to hear the case in-chamber and
called Fernandes, his warring kin along with their lawyers to
Justice Shali then asked all the relatives and lawyers
to leave his chamber in order to have hold a one-on-one talk
with the leader to know his views.
The court, however, allowed a lawyer to be present in
the chamber to assist it as a translator in case Fernandes
speaks in his mother tongue Konkani.
The judge, after consulting with leader in which he
could not respond clearly to questions, asked Fernandes` wife
and brothers to come separately in his chamber.
The translator, who was present in the court while
Justice Shali was trying to talk to the leader, said that
Fernandes was seemingly able to understand whatever was
being asked to him but he was unable to respond and his voice
was not understandable.
She said Fernandes was able to answer only one
question coherently when the Judge asked him how many
brothers he has.
She said that he was trying to talk to his wife in
English and with brothers in Konkani.