‘Wife has greater claim than brothers’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Wife has greater claim than brothers’

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed concern at the confrontation between the US-based wife of ailing former Defence Minister George Fernandes and his three brothers over “unfettered access” to him.

india Updated: May 19, 2010 23:35 IST
Harish V. Nair

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed concern at the confrontation between the US-based wife of ailing former Defence Minister George Fernandes and his three brothers over “unfettered access” to him.

Both sides were counselled to talk and sort out the issue.

The once firebrand socialist leader, 79, is undergoing treatment for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and is in the custody of his wife Leila Kabir and son Sean at his official residence in capital’s Krishna Menon Marg.

Though Justice V.K. Shali asked Kabir to give access to the Fernandes brothers — Richard, Aloyscious and Michael — to meet their brother, he reminded them “a person’s bond with his wife is superior than that with his brothers”.

The brothers had moved the court alleging Kabir was denying them access to Fernandes.

They contended she was an “estranged wife”who “suddenly appeared at Fernandes’s birthday party on June 3, 2009 for the first time in 20 years after getting to know from his declarations before the Lok Sabha elections that he owned Rs seven crores worth of assets”.

Kabir denied the charges and said she was not estranged but was in constant touch with Fernandes. Kabir’s lawyer Aman Lekhi told the court it was the brothers who were eyeing Fernandes’s property. He said in view of his failing health, it was necessary to take Fernandes to US.

Though the brothers argued that Fernandez shouldn’t be removed from familiar surroundings, the judge said, “there should not be any objection to it. If he has the resources, he should get better treatment”.