Fernandes to remain with wife, brothers can visit: Delhi HC



Fernandes to remain with wife, brothers can visit: Delhi HC 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 counsel.

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 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.

PTI