Delhi High Court rules eviction of son and daughter-in-Law; Directs son to pay Rs. 10,000 monthly maintenance under Senior Citizen Act

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: A petition was filed by the petitioner, a senior citizen, challenging order dated 28-06-2021 passed by the Appellate Authority/Divisional Commissioner rejecting an appeal filed by the Petitioner herein under Rule 22(3) of the Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules, 2009, which had been filed against an Order dated 04-04-2019 passed by the District Magistrate rejecting an application filed under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. Subramonium Prasad, J., allowed the petition, set aside the order and further directed Respondent No.2 to pay a sum of Rs.10,000/- to the Petitioner every month towards maintenance.

The petitioner, a senior citizen, owns a property in Hari Nagar-II, Jaitpur, Delhi, acquired through a Power of Attorney in 2003. She resides on the ground floor, while her son (Respondent No. 2) and his wife (Respondent No. 3) occupy the first floor. The petitioner’s relationship with her husband is strained, leading to litigation, including a maintenance petition. A complaint was filed under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act after Respondents No. 2 and 3 forcibly entered the property’s first floor. The petitioner was assaulted, resulting in injuries and a police complaint.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that the property’s ownership, established through a Power of Attorney, is valid as per the prevalent practices in unauthorized colonies. It further emphasized the need to protect senior citizens, asserting that the authorities should have considered the petitioner’s welfare and ordered the eviction of Respondents 2 and 3. It also highlighted the ongoing acrimony in the family and the petitioner’s inability to reside peacefully in her own home. Counsel for respondents contested the validity of the property ownership, alleging that the funds for the property were provided by Respondent No. 2’s father. He further accused the petitioner’s daughter (Respondent No. 4) of manipulation, suggesting a scheme to sell the property. He argued against eviction, citing Respondent No. 2’s unemployment and financial inability.

The Court examined Rule 22 of the Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules, 2009, which provides a procedure for eviction from a senior citizen’s property. The Court noted that the Senior Citizens Act aims to protect senior citizens’ interests and ensure their welfare. The Court acknowledged the existence of disputes regarding property ownership but emphasized the petitioner’s dire circumstances and the need for protection under the Act. The Court observed that the petitioner’s inability to reside peacefully in her home due to fear of her son and daughter-in-law warranted intervention.

The Court remarked that “It is moral and legal obligation of every son to maintain his mother. In fact Section 4(2) of the Senior Citizens Act casts an obligation on the children to maintain a senior citizen so that senior citizen may lead a normal life. Though the Petitioner has not claimed a right to be maintained, the fact that the Court had passed an order on 21.04.2023, even if it is presumed that it was in the absence of service to the Respondents, it is still the obligation of the Respondents to comply with the directions passed by the Court.”

The court held that despite property ownership disputes, the petitioner’s welfare should be prioritized under the Senior Citizens Act. The Court set aside the previous order rejecting the petitioner’s application and directed Respondents 2 and 3 to vacate the premises. The Court ordered Respondent 2 to pay Rs. 10,000 per month to the petitioner for maintenance, considering his obligation under the Act. The Court withdrew the previous order due to improper service but reiterated the directive for a maintenance payment.

[Maheshwari Devi v. GNCTD, 2024 SCC OnLine Del 1197, decided on 19-02-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Ms. Aakansha Kaul, Mr. Aman Sahani, Ms. Versha Singh and Mr. Satya Sabharwal, Ms. Rhea Borkotoky, Advocates for petitioner

Mr. Udit Malik, ASC for GNCTD with Mr. Vishal Chanda, Advocate. Mr. Kanishk Ahuja, Advocate for R-2 and 3. Respondent 4 in person

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