52nd Dai’s cognition not affected by 2011 stroke: Defendant
The senior counsel made the submissions to refute the claim of the plaintiff that after suffering the stroke, the 52nd Dai was so incapacitated that he could not have conferred a nass of succession on the defendant on June 4 and June 20. The plaintiff’s claim was based on Dai’s medical records
Mumbai: Defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s counsel, while revealing details of the medical condition of the 52nd Dai after he was admitted to a London hospital on June 1, 2011, informed the Bombay high court that doctors had said that the spiritual leader had problems swallowing but his cognitive abilities remained unaffected.
The senior counsel made the submissions to refute the claim of the plaintiff that after suffering the stroke, the 52nd Dai was so incapacitated that he could not have conferred a nass of succession on the defendant on June 4 and June 20. The plaintiff’s claim was based on medical records of the Dai’s hospitalisation.
Senior defence counsel Janak Dwarkadas submitted that scans taken at the hospital revealed that the 52nd Dai had suffered a pontine stroke between May 30 and June 1. He recovered after he was treated but was unable to swallow and had slurred speech.
Dwarkadas referred to the examination of consulting neurologist Dr Omar Malik and consulting respiratory physician Dr John Costello, who were part of the hospital team. The counsel said that both these defence witnesses, during their examination by the plaintiffs’ counsel Anand Desai, had said that the stroke had debilitated the 52nd Dai physically but his mental faculties were unaffected and he responded to their queries albeit in a deferred manner.
Dwarkadas also informed the bench of the visit of the speech and language therapist on June 2 to ascertain whether the leader could take food or liquids. He submitted that though the therapist had stated in her report that the stroke had caused a neurological impact, she was not an expert on neurology. It was in light of her report and other medical evaluations that the plaintiffs had concluded that the Dai could not have conferred nass on the defendant on June 4 and neither could he have consumed sherbet in the hospital as claimed by family members.
However, Dwarkadas submitted that as per hospital records and doctors’ statements, the 52nd Dai was fully aware of what was happening around him and hence the alleged contradictions were sufficiently taken care of.
With regard to the allegation by the plaintiffs that despite the Dai’s infirmity, the defendant and his brothers had brought him back to Mumbai on June 20, 2011, so that he was present at the Raudat Tahera shrine, Dwarkadas said it was done on the instructions of the leader himself. Although the doctors were unwilling to discharge the Dai, on his insistence they held consultations and only agreed to discharge him thereafter. The event was the death anniversary of the 51st Dai and the 52nd Dai did not want to miss it as he had been attending it ever since it began. Dwarkadas submitted that the Dai was brought to Mumbai in an air ambulance only after ensuring that there would be no danger to his health.