‘Fernandes was assisted in taking Rajya Sabha oath’

May 20th, 2010 - 11:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) A Right to Information (RTI) response has revealed that former defence minister George Fernandes, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, had symptoms of physical disability even at the time of taking oath as a Rajya Sabha member last year.
“At the time of taking the oath, a fellow member, Shivanand Tiwari, had to assist him (Fernandes) in reading the oath-script,” said Subhash Chandra Agrawal, RTI activist.

According to Agrawal, such an “assisted” reading of the oath script is meaningless both in terms of practical reading and in terms of the oath script which mentions that a member would faithfully discharge the duty upon which he or she is about to enter.

“Can a person who is so unfit to take an unassisted oath, faithfully discharge the duty as member of the Rajya Sabha?” questioned Agrawal.

George Fernandes, 79, is suffering from Alzheimer’s which was first diagnosed in 2006.

The RTI revelation comes at the time when the wife and brothers of the ailing former defence minister Thursday told the Delhi High Court that no settlement was possible over his treatment. The court had advised them to resolve amicably their differences over his treatment and interaction with relatives.

The RTI response also revealed that Fernandes is occupying a ministerial bungalow, to which he is not entitled as a member of the Rajya Sabha.

The RTI reply came from the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.

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