Former defence minister George Fernandes' close political associate Jaya Jaitly was today denied permission by the Delhi high court to visit the ailing leader.
Dismissing Jaitly's plea for impleadment in the civil suit filed by Fernandes' brothers and to have access to the 82-year-old leader, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, justice Manmohan Singh said she has no legal rights to claim visitation right to the leader.
"I am of considered view that the prayer made in the application cannot be granted due to the reason that she is not the necessary and proper party in the dispute in the suit. The application is accordingly dismissed," the court said.
Terming Jaitly's plea as "sentimental", the court said, "A person in order to implead himself as a party must have some legal interest in the issue and not merely a sentimental grievance or commercial interest or the interest which is based on other political consideration."
"It cannot be said that the applicant who is merely showing an interest based on herself being an acquaintance with him in the past in order to join in the proceedings will confer any interest in the law to make her as proper or necessary party to the proceedings," the court said.
The court was hearing a petition by Fernandes's brothers Richard, Aloysious, Michael and Paul for permanent and mandatory injunction against former Samata Party leader's wife Leila Kabir and his son Sean, seeking their right to have unrestricted access to Fernandes and to supervise his treatment.
Allowing their plea, the court had also restrained his wife and son from taking Fernandes out of India for treatment on March 16, 2010.
Jaitly had made the plea to visit the ailing leader saying that she has been a close political colleague and confidante of Fernandes for more than 30 years and that he required aid and assistance from his old friend.
She claimed Fernandes should not be deprived of his basic human right to meet acquaintance and friends.
Her plea was opposed by Fernandes's wife and also his brothers on the ground of locus standi. They said since she could not assert her legal status, she could not be added as a party.
Rejecting her arguments, the court said, "This court is conscious that there are human rights which are required to be respected. But, this court cannot be unmindful of the fact that the present case is a civil suit based on the legal rights of the parties and their entitlement to the relief is based on the legal rights and not on sentimental grievance."
The court, meanwhile, allowed a separate application by the brothers, for conduct of the proceedings on a day-to-day basis, considering the advanced age and ailment of the leader.
The court also appointed GP Thareja, a retired judge, as court commissioner to hold the proceedings expeditiously.