Bombay High Court Appoints Wife Legal Guardian for Husband in Vegetative State

Bombay High Court Appoints Wife Legal Guardian for Husband in Vegetative State

The High Court was hearing a petition filed by the wife, seeking appointment as the legal guardian to manage her husband's estate

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, November 08, 2023, 09:39 PM IST
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Bombay High Court Appoints Wife Legal Guardian for Husband in Vegetative State | representational pic/ Unsplash

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court appointed the wife as the legal guardian of her husband, who has been suffering from a neurological condition that has remained unchanged over the last six years.

Report by medical experts

A division bench of Justices B P Colabawalla and Milind Sathaye appointed the wife based on a report from medical experts and with the no objection from her in-laws. The High Court was hearing a petition filed by the wife, seeking appointment as the legal guardian to manage her husband's estate, as well as his movable and immovable assets, since he has been in a vegetative state following an accident in 2017.

Serious brain injury

According to her plea, the man sustained a serious brain injury in a household accident on March 14, 2017, which left him completely bedridden, requiring food to be fed through pipes for the last five years. His recovery has been very slow, and he is dependent on others for all his needs. Since her husband has been in a vegetative state and his recovery is highly unlikely, the wife argued that she cannot manage the available resources for his medical treatment and the education of their two minor school-going daughters.

Her advocate pointed out that there is no statutory provision addressing the appointment of a guardian for a person in a coma under the Guardians and Wards Act, which led her to approach the High Court.

Last month, the High Court directed the Civil Surgeon of Pune to form a three-member expert panel to clinically examine the husband and inform the court about his condition and the possibility of recovery.

The panel submitted a report stating, "The patient has shown limited neurological improvements in the last six years, and considering his past history and current clinical neurological status, it appears that he is unlikely to improve in the near future."

On November 2, the bench appointed the wife as the legal guardian, granting her in-laws the liberty to approach the court if they find her misusing her authority.

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