52nd Dai’s cognition was not impaired on day of nass: defendant
Citing one of the doctors who stated that on the evening of June 4, 2011, the Dai had responded to him with a smile and a hello, the counsel said it was perfectly possible for the spiritual head to confer nass on the defendant half an hour later
Mumbai: Relying on the deposition by consulting neurologist Dr Omar Malik and consulting respiratory physician Dr John Costello who treated the 52nd Dai in Cromwell Hospital, London, after his stroke, senior defence counsel Janak Dwarkadas informed the Bombay high court that though the Dai had problems swallowing food and speaking, he had responded to queries by the doctors and was alert, coherent and aware of what was happening around him.
The counsel for defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin also reiterated the doctors’ denial of the second speech and language therapist’s report which stated that the lip and tongue movements of the Dai were affected due to the stroke. Citing one of the doctors who stated that on the evening of June 4, 2011, the Dai had responded to him with a smile and a hello, the counsel said it was perfectly possible for the spiritual head to confer nass on the defendant half an hour later.
He then referred to the 8.20 pm note of the nurse—which said the patient was alert and communicative—to prove that the Dai was in fine cognitive health since the visit by the doctor, conferment of nass and even after that. Dwarkadas informed the bench that the audio clips of the 52nd Dai, wherein he is heard conferring nass on the defendant, were available and would be played before the court to show that he was in a position to speak coherently.
Before playing the clips, Dwarkadas told the bench of Dr Costello’s visit to the room of the 52nd Dai at around 7.30 pm, at which time the doctor was “impressed” by the improvement in the Dai’s condition. The counsel then said that around 8 pm, the Dai had called three of his sons and said he was appointing Mufaddal bhai to the Rutba of Dawat and appointing him the 53rd Dai. The leader also told his family ‘Sagdao ne khabar kari dyo’ (Inform everyone about this) twice.
The bench was told that although the 52nd Dai had said these words coherently, the plaintiffs had placed reliance on the observation of the speech and language therapist and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) to conclude that the 52nd Dai was not oriented enough to confer nass on June 4, 2011.
Dwarkadas submitted that the GCS showed that the leader had a score of 13/14 out of 15, and, as per Dr Costello, the fluctuating level of responsiveness was due to drowsiness which, the counsel said, was expected of a 96-year-old due to the stroke and a previous ailment. Justice Gautam Patel then sought to know from senior counsel Anand Desai representing plaintiff Syedna Taher Fakruddin what threshold level they expected the GCS to be at to prove the incapacity and disorientation of the 52nd Dai.
After Dwarkadas played the audio clips and the bench asked for the transcription, the counsel said there were videos of the 52nd Dai which were taken after the conferment of nass. These, he said, would be shown during the hearing from January 11.