Bombay High Court: The Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J. Jamdar, JJ., held that Asif i.e. son has no rights in his father’s flats.
As per the petition, Fazal Khan was living in a vegetative state for the last decade and he not only had dementia but has had multiple strokes also. The crux of the petition was the appointment of Fazal’s wife, Sonia as the 1st petitioner, as the guardian of Fazal’s personal and property.
It was noted from the medical report of Fazal that he was totally dependent on his caregivers.
In the present case, the Court was concerned with a Bank Account wherein Fazal was the first holder and Sonia, i.e. his wife the joint holder. The second asset was a property which was a residential flat.
An intervention application as pointed by the Court, which was filed by Asif Fazal Khan, the “de facto” guardian of Fazal for many years and there was absolutely nothing in the said application to show that.
Further, Asif submitted that although his parents were alive, there are two flats and both are what he describes as “a shared household” therefore he, the son, had some sort of enforceable legal right or entitlement to either or both of these flats.
High Court expressed that,
“In any conceptualization of succession law for any community or faith, Asif can have no right, title or interest whatsoever in either of these flats — one in his father’s name and other in his mother’s name — so long as his parents are alive. The suggestion that Asif has a settled and enforceable share in either of the flats in the lifetimes of the real owners, his parents, is laughable.”
Therefore, the intervention application filed by the son was rejected.
High Court permitted the wife of Fazal Khan to operate the Bank account and added that she may draw amounts in the said account to meet all and any of Fazal’s expenses, though she can’t use that money for her personal expenses nor she can transfer the said amount to her personal account and once a year, the wife is required to file a statement of account.
The wife proposed to sell the flats so that the proceeds could be used to look after Fazal, hence the Court permitted the same and directed that without prior leave to this Court she can execute an MoU or an agreement for sale.
In view of the above -said the petition is kept pending. [Sonia Fazal Khan v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 627, decided on 16-3-2022]
Advocates before the Court:
Mr Nikhil Wadikar, i/b Ganesh Dhonde, for the Petitioner.
Mr Maneesh Trivedi, i/b LR & Associates, for Intervenor/Applicant
Mr Adavit Sethna, i/b Anusha P Amin & Tanay M Mandot, for
Mrs Uma Palsuledesai, AGP, for State.