Senior citizens’ tribunal should ensure law not misused by children denied share in parents’ immovable properties: Bombay HC

webnexttech | Senior citizens’ tribunal should ensure law not misused by children denied share in parents’ immovable properties: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday held that the maintenance tribunal under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act should ensure the law is not misused by children who are denied a share in the immovable properties of senior citizens. It also observed that a certain provision of the law cannot be used as “machinery for setting property disputes” between legal heirs of senior citizens as “unfortunately” such a course of action is taken by parties in many cases. In doing so, the bench allowed a plea by a man challenging the tribunal’s order that nullified gift deeds executed in his favour by his elderly father. The petitioner also alleged that the father had moved the tribunal “at the behest” of his other son with whom he was currently residing as he was interested in said properties. A single-judge bench of Justice Sandeep V Marne on April 10 passed a verdict in a plea by one of the three sons challenging an October 2022 order of the maintenance tribunal constituted under the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. The tribunal allowed the father’s plea and declared gift deeds executed by him in June 2019 and September 2020 in favour of the petitioner for three flats, including two in Kandivali and one in Andheri, as “null and void”. The tribunal also directed the petitioner to vacate and hand over possession of the three flats to the father. In February 2022, the father had applied before the tribunal seeking the return of various properties gifted by him to his petitioner son and payment of maintenance of Rs 50, 000 per month. He had stated that his wife had passed away in February 2019 after which the petitioner got four gift deeds executed related to various immovable properties from him and thereafter ill-treated him by removing servants and confining him to one room. The father left Mumbai to reside with his other son in Surat and claimed that he neither had any source of income nor any movable or immovable property left with him and sought the same be returned to him, which the tribunal allowed. The petitioner challenged this before the high court. Senior advocate Girish S Godbole along with advocates Manuj Borkar and Prasad D Borkar for the petitioner contended that as the father was never a sole owner of the said flats with the petitioner being the joint owner, therefore the tribunal, through “erroneous order” could not have directed to vacate the said flats and same be set aside. “The provision of Section 23(1) (revocation transfer of immovable properties in certain circumstances) of the Senior Citizens Act cannot be used as a machinery for settling property disputes between the heirs of senior citizens. However, unfortunately in many cases, it is observed that such a course of action is taken by the parties,” Justice Marne held. “The tribunal therefore has to ensure that the provision is not misused by children who are denied share in the immovable properties by seeking to get gift deed annulled by filing application through senior citizens,” the bench added. The judge set aside the tribunal’s order and to ensure that the respondent father is looked after, directed the petitioner to provide residence to his father in the Andheri flat and pay him Rs 25,000 per month as maintenance and disposed of the plea.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments