Senior citizens can evict children from property : Delhi HC

“It’s high time that senior citizens/parents are allowed to live in peace and tranquility, the orders passed by the Maintenance Tribunal and the single Judge cannot be faulted,” the bench said.

The Delhi High Court has confirmed the order of the Single Judge of the Maintenance Tribunal and declared it as a valid order. A senior citizen, if ill treated can evict his son, daughter or legal heir from an ancestral or self acquired property. The Delhi High Court has rejected the plea of the woman who claimed that the above rule has not included Daughter in law, but the Court dismissed the petition by stating that the senior citizen may also evict the Daughter in law from the property rights. A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao upheld the order of a single Judge and a district Magistrate which was passed on July 18 directing the Daughter in law to vacate the first floor of her in laws house.

In the above case the woman had uncordial relations with her husband as well with her in laws. She had filed a complaint against the in laws for Domestic Violence, while, husband had filed a petition for divorce. The In laws rejected the claims made by the wife and they contended that she has misbehaved with them and subjected them to physical violence due to which they were compelled to lock themselves in a room. The Husband in the case has not been staying in the house for several months. Thus, the Father in law filed a plea before the district Magistrate seeking eviction of his son and daughter in law from the premises of the house.

In the case the woman has claimed that the Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of parents and senior citizens (amendment) rules, entitled a senior citizen to oust his son, daughter or his legal heir on ill treatment, but the rules excluded the daughter in law. But the Bench dismissed this point on the ground that not including the daughter in law would “debilitate” the provisions of the rules and render them incapable of serving the main object with which they were made, that is, to safeguard the parents and the senior citizens. The court added that the woman has no right, title and interest in the premises, and cannot insist on residing with her in laws.

There have been several ambiguities regarding the rule.  One of them was that whether the maintenance tribunal, without any plea for maintenance, has the authority to evict the son, daughter or legal heir of a senior citizen/parent. The High Court in another case has affirmed that the maintenance tribunal has the power to order such an eviction. But the court said that “…Under the Delhi Maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens Rules, a senior citizen/parent can seek eviction of son, daughter or legal heir from an ancestral or self acquired property, the vires of which rule has not been challenged by the appellant in these proceedings nor before the learned Single Judge. As long as the said rules exist, the order of the tribunal giving impugned directions cannot be faulted,” the Court said.

Till now, if the parents wanted to take action against children who lived with them, for ill treatment or misbehavior, they had to approach the police to file a complaint and then to take up the matter in the court. But with the Gazette notification of Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of parents and senior citizen (Amendment) Rules, 2017 in the Delhi Gazette on July 28, the process has been simplified a lot and that the claim for maintenance is not necessary while filing for an eviction of the son, daughter or legal heir in the Maintenance Tribunal. According to the 2011 census 104 million elderly people live in India and thus, welfare laws regarding them must be given a lot of importance. Senior citizens are among the vulnerable section of the population and their empowerment is necessary. Thus, such law is a big step in empowering the senior citizens.

 

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