Enough is Enough: GS Patel J condemns dragging old people to court, loose use of ‘Alzheimer’s’

MUMBAI, JUN 30: In a recent order, the Bombay High Court came down heavily on the plaintiffs for loosely referring to memory loss as Alzheimer’s. The order says that if merely forgetting things amounted to Alzheimer’s, a majority of the people in the legal fraternity would be suffering from it.
“Alzheimer’s is not word to be bandied about like this. It is a clinical condition with pathology. All memory loss is not indicative of Alzheimer’s.”, reads the order.
Justice GS Patel, in the case of Kiran Shyamlal Bellara v. Narayan @ Rupo Jethanand Bellara, has censured the plaintiffs for using the word ‘Alzheimer’s’ interchangeably with mere memory loss while referring to the elderly defendants.
“Forgetting something is not a memory loss, nor Alzheimer’s otherwise the bulk of this Court’s bar and bench would be said to suffer from Alzheimer’s.”, the order reads.
The Court also reprimanded the plaintiffs for dragging the defendants, who are 78-year-old and 80-year-old women, to Court on claims that these women were restraining the plaintiff from entering the house in question and on charges of domestic violence. Justice Patel’s order says that it is impossible to give any credence to these claims after having seen that the defendants needed assistance to walk even for two to three feet.
The basic issue pertained to a bungalow, with the plaintiff claiming that the defendants were allegedly restraining her in the house which is her matrimonial home.
The daughters of the plaintiff had alleged that the defendants, who are sisters of the plaintiff’s deceased husband, were also preventing their entry into the house to meet the plaintiff. The decree sought in the case was for the partition of the house in question between the defendants and the first plaintiff.
Finding the suit prima facie motivated, mischievous, false and an abuse of the process of this Court, Justice Patel observed,
“I find this happening in matter after matter, day after day. Old people, in the twilight of their lives, are dragged willy-nilly into this or that court and are made to wage legal battles instead of being left in peace. The endless waiting in court, even the sheer difficulty in accessing our courts, is traumatic enough. All this is, of course, only over money and property. Enough is enough.”
The Court disapproved the manner in which the plaint was drafted calling it a “shining example of how a plaint should not be drafted”, replete with typographical errors, unsubstantiated claims, glaring inconsistencies and hyperbole.
The Court allowed the daughters, who were plaintiffs 2 and 3, to take their mother out of the house in question if her medical condition so demanded, but with a precondition that the defendants and their lawyer will be informed about the same. The lawyers for defendants were directed to depute a person to be present at the site when the plaintiff is taken out of the house.