Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where an old age home inmate was accused of misbehaving with other inmates and was hence, asked to vacate the room, the bench of Hemant Gupta* and V. Ramasubramanian, JJ has held that if one parent is the cause of disruption of peace of other inmates in the old age home, the administration of the old age home is at liberty to terminate the license and ask the inmate to vacate the room allotted to them.

In the case at hand, after receiving several complaints against the respondents for allegedly misbehaving with the other inmates, the Committee of the Old Age Home at first took a compassionate approach and allowed one month’s time to the respondents so as to observe their behaviour. If no reforms were visible then, they would be told to leave the premises in terms of Rule framed by the old age home. Since no behavioral change was visible, the Old Age Home cancelled the membership of the respondents on 22.11.2019.

While the Allahabad High Court granted injunction against such order, the Supreme Court was of the opinion that since the respondents had no legal right to protect their possession without complying with the corresponding obligations, as their possession is not a legal possession but only a permissive possession, they cannot seek any injunction to restrain the management of the old age home not to dispossess them.

The Court observed,

“It is an unfortunate situation when the parents cannot be taken care of by the children, but the fact remains that abandonment of parents by their children is now a hard fact of life. Parents do find it difficult to reconcile the situation that at that age they have to stay in old age home. Therefore, one can understand the mental trauma which the parents face in the evening of their life but the agony suffered by a parent cannot be a cause of disturbance to the other inmates or to the organizers who have resolved to take care and run the old age home.”

It was held that the inmates in the old age home are licensees and are expected to maintain a minimum level of discipline and good behaviour and not to cause disturbance to the fellow inmates who are also senior citizens. Therefore, if one parent is the cause of disruption of peace of other inmates in the old age home, the administration of the old age home is at liberty to terminate the license and ask the inmate to vacate the room allotted to them. Even if the organizers of the old age home are not able to meet the expectation or requirements of the plaintiffs, that would not confer a cause to the plaintiffs to disturb the other inmates. As a licensee, the respondents have no right to stay in the accommodation allotted which is purely an approach to a human problem faced by the people in old age. It is also important to note that the respondents have even been offered alternative accommodation as well.

The Court hence directed that the appellant shall arrange an alternative old age home for the respondents, as one offered by the Social Welfare Department.

Further, it will be open to the Municipal Corporation or the Social Welfare Department to examine the living conditions of the inmates in the old age home so that the inmates live in as comfortable conditions as are possible at that age.

The Court also directed the Uttar Pradesh State Legal Services Authority to depute a para-legal volunteer to visit the old age home on such intervals as is possible and the Member Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority to visit the old age home at least once a month initially to find out the difficulties being faced by the inmates and to take redressal steps, including to provide legal aid if required by the inmates of the old age home.

[Samarpan Varishtha Jan Parisar v. Rajendra Prasad Agarwal, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 564, decided on 06.05.2022]

*Judgment by: Justice Heman Gupta

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: S.C. Gupte, J., dismissed a second appeal filed against the orders of courts below where the suit filed by the respondent-plaintiff for possession of the suit property was decreed.

The plaintiff’s suit was based on his title to the suit property. Plaintiff’s grandfather was the owner of the suit property. According to the request of the defendant’s father, the plaintiff’s grandfather had put him in permissive possession of the property. The same arrangement continued even after the death of both, the plaintiff’s grandfather and the defendant’s father. Now, the plaintiff approached the defendant for evicting the suit property as it was required by the plaintiff’s family. The defendant, however, refused. Consequently, the plaintiff filed the subject suit for possession of the suit property based on his title derived from his grandfather and father.

The defendant contended, inter alia, that the defendants and their predecessor in the title were in possession of the suit property ever since the plaintiff’s grandfather purchased the same and that the suit for possession was clearly barred by the law of limitation.

The High Court was of the view that there was no merit in the defence of limitation. The Court explained: “In a suit for possession based on the plaintiff’s title, the cause of action accrues to him when the defendant sets up a title adverse to him, that is to say, when the possession of the defendant becomes adverse to the plaintiff.”

Considering the facts of the instant case, the Court observed: “It is the plaintiff’s own case here, and which is not disbelieved by either of the courts below, that all along, till possession of the suit property was demanded from the defendants, their possession was permissive, first through the predecessor of the plaintiff (deceased Rama) and later through the plaintiff and his father (also deceased). It was only on 15 May 2006, when possession was demanded by the plaintiff and his father and denied by the defendants that the cause of action to seek recovery of possession on the basis of their title accrued unto the plaintiff and his father and the suit filed immediately thereafter was within time.”

Finding no merit in the challenge to the impugned orders, the High Court dismissed the instant appeal. [Balasaheb Govind Basugade v. Rajendra Shivaji Kumthekar, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 5608, decided on 28-11-2019]