Hyderabad: Legal experts say the recent ruling of the Bombay High Court that elderly parents can take back a share in their property given by them as a gift to a child if the child fails to look after them, is a good precedent to prevent the elderly from being harassed by their children.
A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai of the Bombay High Court recently upheld an order passed by the Mumbai suburban collector, under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007
The collector, who is the presiding officer of the tribunal under the 2007 Act, had received a complaint from one Natvar Keshavlal Sanghvi against his son, Pritish Natvar Sanghvi.
Natvar Sanghvi wanted to remarry after the death of his wife. He gave a 50 per cent share of his flat in Brooklyn Hills Co-operative Housing Society to his son Pritish Sanghvi and his daughter-in-law.
After he remarried, Natvar Sanghvi alleged that his son and daughter-in-law were mistreating his second wife. He left the flat and started living in rented premises. He then approached the suburban collector under section 5 and 23 of the Parents and Senior Citizens’ law to reclaim the flat from his son. The collector allowed it.
While upholding the order of the collector, the bench noted that the gift deed was given by the father on the request of his son and hence it was implied that the son and daughter-in-law would take care of the father and his second wife after half of the share in the flat was transferred in their name.
Sarasani Satyam Reddy, senior counsel, said that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 has provisions that protect parents (and elderly persons) who have signed away their property or assets to a person so that they would be taken care of but are then left unattended or mistreated.
He explained that if a senior citizen signs an agreement after 2007 to transfer his/her share in the property on the condition that their basic needs would be taken care of, but the person given the share refuses to do so, then a maintenance tribunal can quash the agreement.
He said that the verdict should be publicised so that the elderly, who are often ignorant of their rights, are aware that there are provisions to claim maintenance under personal laws and the Code of Criminal Procedure besides the 2007 Act....