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Legal

Updated on: Sunday, December 19, 2021, 11:16 PM IST

FPJ Legal l Wife appointed as guardian for husband, who is in a 'vegetative' state

A bench of Justices Gautam Patel Madhav Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by Nirupama Mehta, who stated that her husband Jitendra suddenly collapsed on the floor in February 2017 and since then his health has deteriorated.
FPJ Legal l Wife appointed as guardian for husband, who is in a 'vegetative' state  | Unsplash

FPJ Legal l Wife appointed as guardian for husband, who is in a 'vegetative' state | Unsplash

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The Bombay High Court on Friday appointed a woman as the "guardian" of her husband, who is in a vegetative state since February 2017. The HC asked all the authorities, companies etc to recognise her as her husband's guardian and not insist on any declaration.

A bench of Justices Gautam Patel Madhav Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by Nirupama Mehta, who stated that her husband Jitendra suddenly collapsed on the floor in February 2017 and since then his health has deteriorated.

Nirupama claimed that she spent Rs 30 lakh on her husband's treatment which was done in various top hospitals of the city. However, the medical opinion has been that he wouldn't recover ever.

In her plea before the judges, Nirupama through her counsel Tulsi Shah submitted that she was now left with only Rs 8 lakh and was under "huge financial distress." She highlighted the fact that her husband owned a flat of 300 sqft in Ghatkopar, however, that wasn't sufficient for his treatment now and thus she was compelled to rent a bigger house in Borivali, wherein, she has converted one room into an ICU like ward to facilitate her husband's treatment.

Through her plea, Nirupama sought a declaration that she was the guardian of her husband so that she could use his finances and even sell off the Ghatkopar flat. She said she wasn't able to do so as banks and all the relevant authorities insisted she furnishes documents showing that she is the guardian of her husband.

Having considered her ordeal, the judges ordered, "The companies, authorities and entities in question are

directed by virtue of this order, to recognize Nirupama, as the guardian and authorized representative of Jitendra Mehta."

"They will permit her to transact all those assets (including selling them) without insisting on further documents or declarations," the bench added.

The judges clarified that all official and government authorities will also act according to this order.

As far as the flat in Ghatkopar is concerned, the bench allowed Nirupama to enter into negotiations for sale and to decide on a prospective purchaser as also the consideration.

"For good order, and in keeping with the general law on the subject, we will only require her to seek a formal order of this Court permitting the sale of that flat. Since the sale is presently proposed in Jitendra’s lifetime, and since the flat is solely in his name, the consent of the children is not separately required for the sale," the bench clarified in its orders.

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Published on: Sunday, December 19, 2021, 11:16 PM IST
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