Judge chides feuding siblings

2009-09-01 00:00

FAMILY squabbles do not belong in the high court, Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Kevin Swain said yesterday.

He made the comment in response to an application by a local woman, Madhumati Jeena, for a court order to force her brother, Yogendra Kumar Lalloo, to allow her access to their 85-year-old mother.

Speaking directly to the parties sitting in the public gallery, Swain yesterday warned Lalloo and Jeena that he has no intention of allowing either party to emerge “a winner”, and urged them to reach an agreement.

He said it is “unacceptable” to bring what is essentially a fight between siblings before the high court and that the extensive affidavits setting out the enmity that exists between them amounts to a “waste of paper”.

After consulting their lawyers, a consent order was drafted and granted by the court in terms of which Lalloo is directed to allow Jeena “uninterrupted and unsupervised” physical contact with her mother, Diwari Ramjoo Lalloo, while she is in Lalloo’s care and living under his roof.

In terms of the court order, Jeena may visit her mother for at least an hour on any weekday between 2 pm and 7 pm, but must give 24 hours’ notice to her brother’s attorneys.

The parties were ordered to pay their own legal costs.

The dispute entered the legal arena in June this year when Jeena obtained an interim order allowing her to visit her mother.

In her affidavit she described her brother as “controlling and authoritarian” and alleged he had refused her permission to visit her frail mother after February.

Her brother responded by accusing Jeena of “embroidering” the facts and endeavouring to use their mother to “wreak vengeance on him and his family”.

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