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In the case of Samarpan Varishtha Jan Parisar vs Rajendra Prasad Agarwal, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held senior citizens living in old age homes are a licensee. They are only permitted to enjoy the possession of the property and do not have any interest in the property. As licensees, inmates are allowed to stay in old age home as long as they abide by the terms and conditions of the license.

The present appeal was filed to challenge the order passed by Hon’ble HC of Allahabad where the petition filed by the respondents was allowed and an interim injunction was restored as against the order of the Trial Court.

The appellant was granted a lease to run an old age home in Lucknow. The lease was initially for 15 years which could be subsequently renewed afterward. There were certain conditions and one of them was to constitute an Advisory Board by lessee i.e appellant in the case. One of the conditions was that the cooperation fund deposited by the inmates would be utilized for accommodation, food, bed, and other essential services of living and general health treatment but extraordinary and expensive expenses would be borne by the inmates themselves. It was also provided that if any inmate violates the rules and regulations, the administration had full right to expel them by issuing one month period’s notice.

The plaintiff misbehaved with some of the senior inmates and authority even after giving several warnings. Since no behavioral changes were observed, the appellant canceled the membership of the plaintiffs.

The High Court granted an injunction to the plaintiff. The main issue which arose before the Apex Court was that

  1. what was the status of the inmates in the old age home?
  2. Were they licensee?
  3. Whether they had the right to stay in the old age home for a lifetime as a matter of right?

The Hon’ble Supreme Court after examining various precedents came to the conclusion that possession of rooms by inmates in old age homes is that of a licensee permitted to enjoy the possession but could not create any interest in the property. As licensees, they have a legal right to stay in the room of an old age home as long they comply with the terms and conditions of the license.

The Court also discussed the three types of possession. One as that of an owner, including co-owners; second as a tenant, when a right is created in the property; and thirdly permissive possession, the possession which otherwise would be illegal or that of a trespasser. In the present appeal, we are concerned with the possession falling in the third category.

The plight of the senior citizens who are abandoned by their children and are complied to live in old age homes was also highlighted.

The Apex Court directed the appellant to arrange an alternative old age home for the respondents and the appeal by the appellant was allowed and the interim injunction sought by the respondent was dismissed.

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