BENGALURU: “Before I breathe my last breath, I hope to secure justice for my younger sister Lakshmamma,’’ says 71-year-old R Narasimha Murthy with determination writ large on his face. So far, the pensioner has had little success in getting back what rightfully belonged to his sister.
According to the will of his mother Nagamma (86), who passed away in 2016, Lakshmamma(66), an illiterate and a simpleton with less knowledge about worldly affairs, was to inherit a two-storey house and cash Rs 2.5 lakh kept as fixed deposit in a co-operative bank in Byatarayanapura.
“But my younger brother Thimmaraju forcibly took possession of the building by occupying the ground floor and rented out the house on the first floor. In connivance with staffers at the co-operative bank, he forged documents to withdraw our mother’s savings kept in fixed deposit account. And since then Lakshmamma has been living a hand-to-mouth existence,’’ he informs in a choked voice.
After consulting Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag of Human Rights Protection Foundation (HRPF) in Udupi, Murthy had filed a complaint under The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 before the maintenance tribunal headed by Bengaluru North Assistant Commissioner. Months later, the tribunal directed the tahsildar and the police to take repossession of the house and hand it over to Lakshmamma.
“AC’s order was not implemented for the next six months as no bribe was paid,’’ he says. Based on his complaint to the experts committee on prevention of sexual violence against women and children, chairman V S Ugrappa, and later Revenue minister Kagodu Thimmappa, the tahsildar swung into action to evict the encroacher.
“My brother was, however, tipped about the eviction and he succeeded in bringing a stay order from the high court,’’ he said.Since November 2017, Murthy with the help of an advocate K M Rohini has been applying “memo for hearing every week”. After the seventh adjournment on July 17 this year and when informed that his application was in ‘list (B)’, the septuagenarian did not have strength left to continue the fight.
Murthy’s relentless support to Lakshmamma created resentment in his own home and ended with the family cutting all ties with him. Meanwhile, Lakshmamma was knocked down by a two-wheeler, and is now unable to stand for too long. “Sometimes, I wish my sister should never have been born,’’ he says with tears welling up in his eyes.
‘SET UP A TRIBUNAL FOR SENIOR CITIZENS’
Advocate K M Rohini told The New Indian Express: “Karnataka High Court is not serious about cases filed under Senior Citizens Act. Cases are never listed on priority which is against Supreme court’s directions. Some petitioners have passed away while waiting for justice. A tribunal should be set up or a slot should be fixed every week to hear cases under the Senior Citizens Act.’’She plans to lead a delegation to Women and Child Development Minister Jayamala Ramachandra.