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NAME OF THE CASE AND CORAM

  • Case Name: Ashish Vinod Dalal & Ors vs Vinod Ramanlal Dalal & Ors
  • Coram: G.S. KULKARNI, J.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Section 4 explicitly says that it is the children's or relatives' responsibility to meet the requirements of senior residents so that they can "live a normal life."
  • The terms "normal life" as defined in these clauses would have a far broader and deeper meaning, pertaining to the fundamental rights of livelihood as guaranteed and enjoyed by older citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution.

CASE BACKGROUND

  • The parents (a 90-year-old father and an 89-year-old mother) had lodged a complaint with the Maintenance Tribunal regarding their son's mistreatment. The son and his family were ordered to leave the flat where his elderly parents were residing by the Tribunal.
  • The son and his family submitted a writ petition in the High Court, challenging the Tribunal's verdict. The High Court stated right away that it was a tragic affair and expressed sorrow for the "parents' misery."

CASE PROCEEDINGS

  • The plea was defended by the son and his family on grounds that the elderly couple could not approach the senior citizen's tribunal since a local court had already issued an order in the 89-year-old mother's favour of not to be evicted from the house under the Domestic Violence Act.
  • Furthermore, as the flat was given to the daughter by the elderly parents, it could not be considered their personal property under section 4 of the Act.
  • The parents' attorney claimed that this was a clear case of the petitioners nos. 1 and 2 abusing and harassing the parents at such a senior stage in their life.
  • The Court decided that older citizens would not be barred from petitioning the Tribunal because Section 4 of the Act includes all elements of sustenance. Furthermore, the father was not a party to the DV proceedings.
  • As per the Court the term "property" under Section 2(f) is defined as "any sort of property, and including rights or interests in such property".
  • The Court rejected the argument that the parents could not exercise rights in the flat since it had been presented to their daughter, noting that they had rights and interests in it.

CASE RELEVANCE

  • The Bombay High Court ordered a Mumbai resident and his wife to leave his elderly parents' flat within a month, citing the Senior Citizens Act, which states that children or relatives must cater to the needs of senior citizens so that they can "enjoy an ordinary life, free of any disturbance."
  • The Court found that the man and his family were bothering the parents by residing on their 90-year-old father's land (which he had given to his daughter) against their will. As a result, the son's appeal against the Maintenance Tribunal's judgement requiring him to vacate the property was rejected.
  • The Court upheld the ancient notion that daughters will always remain by their parents, whereas sons will only stay with them until they marry.
  • The court determined that the numerous legal hearings between the parties demonstrate the parents' emotions of torture and harassment. Secondly, the house in question is not an ancestral property, and the son has no valid entitlement to it.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. You may now be able to answer the following questions, let us know in the comments section-

  • How do one define the term "normal life"?
  • Should the legislation introduce more severe laws so that the elderly citizens can live a peaceful life?
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