Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: Sameer Jain J. dismissed the petition and refused to interfere with the impugned order.

Factual Background

The facts of the case are such that the respondent is mother of petitioner 1 and mother-in-law of petitioner 2, whose husband passed away bequeathing all movable and immovable properties in favour of the respondent by way of will prior to his death. The respondent has 3 sons and 1 daughter. She bought a house which is disputed in the instant case wherein she was living with the son second in number as the elder son had died and younger son is not well to do. Petitioner 1 filed suit before the Civil Court for declaration of the disputed property (85% under his name) as he invested around 8 lakhs out of his own funds. The Civil Court rejected the plaint upon Order 7 Rule 11 application by order dated 06-08-2021 against which an appeal was preferred which is sub judice before this Court. The present writ petition was filed under Article 226 & 227 Constitution of India against the order dated 08-03-2019 passed by the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Tribunal (S.D.O.) Jaipur City, Jaipur whereby, petitioners were directed to vacate the premises and the rights of respondent mother were restored.

Arguments

Counsel for respondent mother submitted that it is only because of pension of her husband that she is able to financially support herself otherwise, she is ousted out of her house by the petitioners and is being harassed by them on day to day basis and she is under pathetic condition suffering mental and social torture as she has to live in her married daughter’s house, which is against the customs of Hindu joint family.

Counsel for petitioner submitted that the allegations of ill-treatment qua abusive language, neglect, mental and physical torture against him and his wife are only cooked story. The fact of not providing food, not taking appropriate care of relatives or visitors of the respondent and not providing medical facilities to the respondent are also part of the sham story. The petitioners further submit that it is on her own sweet will that the respondent went to Bhiwani, her native town, to her sister-in-law in the year 2010 and thereafter since March, 2018 until today she is residing at her daughter’s house and the petitioners had no role to play in forcing her out of the disputed property for the said period.

Observation

The Court observed that Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 was enacted by the Legislature in the background that the traditional norms and values of the Indian Society are lost due to withering of the joint family system as a large number of elderly are not being looked after by their family, particularly the widowed women, who are forced to spend their twilight years all alone and are exposed to emotional neglect, lack of financial support and are rather treated as a waste.

The Court relied on judgment S. Vanitha v. Deputy Commissioner, 2020 SCC Online SC 1023 and observed that when there are family laws and personal laws and there is domestic conflict between in-laws and daughter-in-law, both are protected by respective legislation. However, in the event of conflict between them, the dominant purpose of both the statutes has to be seen in a harmonious way as it is important to strike a balance between family law and personal law and read them in a way so as to glue the family and society.

The Court after perusing the facts and grounds of impugned order has come to a conclusion that ill-treatment is meted out to the respondent-mother, she is expelled from her own house, allegations of mental, physical and social abuse have been leveled against the petitioners and during the proceedings before this court respondent-mother categorically submitted that living with the petitioners would pose a threat to her life and mental wellbeing, the prayer of the petition to set aside the eviction order of tribunal passed on 08-03-2019 does not have a leg to stand on.

Decision

The Court held “the petitioners along with their family are directed to honor the impugned order dated 08.03.2019 and vacate the premises within a period of 30 days from the date of pronouncement of the judgment on their own cost and restore the house in vacant manner and in appropriate condition to the respondent-mother with due respect.” [Suresh Sharma v. Dhanwanti Sharma, 2022 SCC OnLine Raj 672, decided on 07-04-2022]


Appearances-

For Petitioner(s): Mr. Deepak Sharma

For Respondent(s): Mr. Ashok Mehta and Mr. Mudit Singhvi


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Dinesh Maheshwari, CJ, S. Sujatha, J., dismissed writ petitions filed against the order of the respondent authorities, whereby the respondent authorities declared bye-elections to be held for some constituencies which fell vacant.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the respondent authorities were justified in ordering the bye-elections to be held and whether the said order was in consonance with Section 151 A of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

The Court observed that the true intention behind Section 151 A was that notwithstanding anything contained in Section 147, 149, 150 and 151 of the RP Act, bye-election for filling any vacancy referred to in the said sections should be held within 6 months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy, but it is provided that in two eventualities, the provisions of Section 151 A would not apply viz. (a) when the remainder of the term of a member in relation to the vacancy is less than one year and (b) when the Election Commission in consultation with the Central Government certifies that it is difficult to hold the bye-election within that period. The period of one year as discussed in the provision refers to the remaining term from the date of occurrence of vacancy which ought not to be less than a year. In the instant case the vacancies had arisen on 18-05-2018 and 21-05-2018 and if the elections are not allowed to be held in relation to these vacancies then these constituencies will remain unrepresented for a period of more than a year, till the next general elections.

The Court held that the respondent authorities had not committed any error in passing the order for holding bye-elections for the vacant constituencies. Further, the Court also held that if there arises an ambiguity with regard to interpretation of Section 151 A of the RP Act, then recourse to the report of a Committee on Electoral Reforms, 1990 must be taken since Section 151A was introduced on the basis of this committee report. [AP Ranganatha v. Chief Election Commission, WP No. 46107 of 2018, order dated 29-10-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Siddhartha Varma, J., allowed a writ petition which was in respect to Section 82 of the U.P. Revenue Code, 2006.

Facts of the case are that petitioner’s agricultural land was declared as non-agricultural. Aggrieved by the same, petitioner filed an application under Section 82 of the Code for cancellation of the above declaration. The aforementioned application was dismissed stating that by canceling the declaration, petitioner was trying to save stamp duty. Later, a revision petition filed by petitioner on the dismissal of above application was also dismissed and for the same, this writ petition was filed.

It was submitted by the petitioner that in accordance with Khasras in the revenue records for the land, agricultural work was going on and prayed for the withdrawal of declaration. It was found on a spot inspection conducted by Revenue Inspector that the plot was vacant and no agricultural work was being done. While responding to the above inspection data, petitioner contended that just because a plot is vacant does not necessarily imply that it is being used for other purposes than agricultural. Whereas the respondent alleged that petitioner was trying to sell the plot and save stamp duty by declaring it as an agricultural land.

The High Court after hearing both the parties quashed the order passed by Additional Commissioner and Sub-divisional Magistrate, Sadar stating that just because a land is vacant, it cannot be concluded that it can never be used for agricultural purposes unless a building is constructed to stop the agricultural scope of the plot. [Sunita Agarwal v. State of U.P., 2018 SCC OnLine All 1326, order dated 11-09-2018]