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The Delhi High Court Wednesday advised the wife and brothers of the ailing former defence minister George Fernandes to amicably solve their differences over his treatment and interaction with relatives.

“This is not a legal matter but a family matter. So it should be solved amicably,” Justice V.K. Shali said after hearing the arguments of his wife Leila Kabir and brother Richard Fernandes.

George Fernandes, 79, is suffering from Alzheimer’s. The court will hear the matter Thursday.

During the arguments, counsel for Richard alleged that Leila had deserted his brother 25 years ago. Now, she has suddenly come back into his life when he is ill, counsel said.

“Our petition is not aimed at restraining her from carrying out her duties but we want free access to our brother,” counsel said.

Countering the allegations, senior advocate Aman Lekhi, appearing for Leila, said: “George Fernandes is capable of taking his decisions and has chosen to stay with me. Then why are his brothers making a issue out of it?”

On this, the court said: “Wife’s relation is any day above the relation of brother.”

However, counsel for Richard pressed for constituting a medical board to examine whether George Fernandes was given proper treatment.

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