The Telangana High Court has come to the rescue of a 59-year-old widow who was harassed by her son and daughter-in-law and kicked out of her house. Holding that the petitioner woman was entitled to protection under the Maintenance and Welfare of the Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 in all respects, including protection to the subject property, restoration of possession and granting police protection to her, the court directed that the property be restored to her within three weeks.
Justice P Naveen Rao delivered the judgment recently, on a writ petition filed by the woman, complaining of inaction by the police in not registering cases against her son and daughter-in-law, and failure to provide protection to her and her property as per Article 21 and 300-4 of the Constitution.
“The breaking of the joint family system and formation of nuclear families resulted in lack of a support mechanism to elder members of the family. There are innumerable instances of elders in the family being subjected to harassment, intimidation, knocking away their properties, and making them orphans.
Disturbed by the treatment meted out to parents and senior citizens as an after-effect of (the) crumbling joint family system, the Indian Parliament enacted The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, which is a comprehensive enactment for maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens. The primary object of the Act is to protect from deprivation, particularly senior citizens, and in general the parents,” the court observed.
Parents entitled to protection under Senior Citizens Act 2007, says HC
The case of the petitioner woman was that she owns a flat near Kukatpally in the city and she was forcibly thrown out of her flat by her son and daughter-in-law. Though complaints were made to the local police in November last year, the authorities concerned failed to take any action, and she did not regain possession of her flat with police protection. In her complaint to the Cyberabad police commissioner, she urged for booking a criminal case against the said two persons and to punish them for alleged harassment, throwing her out of her flat, indulging in criminal intimidation and trying to kill her.
She also made a representation to the district collector, seeking to grant protection to her life and property as per provisions of the Act. On the other hand, the respondent son and daughter-in-law claimed that the subject property was a joint family property and was purchased by his later father, but registered in the name of his mother. Joint family now consists of the petitioner woman and her two sons.
The petitioner’s counsel told the court that the said Act was a comprehensive enactment granting protection to parents as well as senior citizens and irrespective of the age, parent can claim protection under the Act, and the Rules thereon against her children and, therefore, it was applicable to a parent even if the parent was not aged 60 years.
Besides, the government counsel contended that the petitioner was not a senior citizen, hence the provisions of the Act 2007 were not applicable to her. In fact, the police had already registered a crime based on the complaint by the petitioner, he added.
After hearing both sides and perusing the material on record, Justice Naveen Rao said that there was merit in the petitioner’s counsel contention that even though the woman has not crossed 60 years, as a parent, she was entitled to protection under the Act. Section 23 of the Act goes to the extent of power to annul the transfer of property, Similarly senior citizen/parent has a right to receive maintenance out of an estate”, the judge noted.
Justice Radhakrishnan transfer cleared
The Central government has finally cleared the transfer of Telangana High Court Chief Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan to the Calcutta High Court. A notification in this regard was issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice on Saturday. Justice TBN Radhakrishnan will now have to take charge as Chief Justice of the Calcutta HC on or before April 6, 2019.
The Supreme Court collegium recommended Justice Radhakrishnan’s transfer on January 10 in the interest of better administration of justice. Last month, however, the Central government referred the proposal back to the Chief Justice of India for reconsideration. But the collegium stood by its earlier recommendation and reiterated the proposal