The Delhi High Court has ruled that an adult son has no right to stay in the house of his father except with his express permission. The situation may be different if the father stays in a house his own father had bequeathed to him. The case arose over the verdict of a lower court which said that the son and his wife had no right to stay in the house of the father, who had built it with his own money.
Though the son claimed he had contributed to the building of the house, he could not prove it. The High Court, while upholding the verdict, ruled that the son is at the mercy of the father and not the other way around. Unlike in the West where children turn independent around the time they complete their teenage years, shift into their own accommodation and earn their livelihood, in India, most children stay with their parents even long after they complete their education and get married.
As a rule, most parents prefer to have their children stay with them with their grandchildren. Though the joint family system has been giving way to nuclear families, most senior citizens consider it a privilege to have the children stay with them even after their marriage. Such a system has many advantages, particularly in bringing up the grandchildren, but it also creates cases like the one under review.
All family systems are good provided there is mutual love and respect between children and their parents. Problems arise when there are no bonds of love between them. In the instant case, the son tried to eject the parents from the house the latter built. This is not an isolated case. There are umpteen cases of children forcing their aged parents to sign away their property, and thereafter, dumping them in places like the Kumbh. Those who are dumped in old age homes consider themselves lucky. Laws are in place to prevent parents from being cheated by their children, but few parents will use them against their offspring for fear of shame.