The Chhattisgarh High Court has held that Maintenance Tribunal possesses power under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 (‘the Act’) to order eviction of children from the houses of their parents.
While rejecting arguments advanced to the contrary, the Single Judge Bench of Justice Deepak Kumar Tiwari said,
“…this Court does not find any error in the order of eviction passed by the appellate Court directing the petitioner to vacate the house within a period of 7 days from the date of the order. When the parents, who are owners of the house, withdraw permission to reside in the house, in that case, the petitioner is bound to obey the order of parents, and respondent No.4-father cannot be asked to file traditional suit of eviction against his own son.”
The respondent no. 4 (father of the petitioner) filed an application, inter alia, claiming eviction of the petitioner from the house owned by him. It was alleged that the petitioner and his wife were continuously harassing and abusing him in filthy language and threatened him to oust from his own house and in the month of July, 2017, ousted him from the house.
The petitioner/son denied the allegations. He said that the application has been filed only to harass him and his mother and a civil suit is also pending adjudication pertaining to the said property. It was also averred that the father is having a separate house in his name, through which he is getting rental income of Rs.10,000/- and also having an agricultural land.
The Maintenance Tribunal after holding enquiry and being satisfied that the petitioner is neglecting and refusing to maintain his father, passed an order directing to pay maintenance of Rs.5,000/- per month and also passed the eviction order.
Against the said order, the petitioner preferred an appeal before the Collector, in which an order was passed directing the petitioner to vacate the house within a week. Hence, the present petition was filed impugning that order.
It was submitted on behalf of the petitioner that in the Act and the Chhattisgarh Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules, 2009, there is no such provision for eviction of son by the Maintenance Tribunal, though such enabling provision was framed in some other states. Therefore, it was argued, the impugned order is not sustainable.
It was further submitted that the appellate Court without examining the issue, has confirmed the eviction order in a summary manner, which is not warranted. Therefore, it was urged that the case may be remitted back to be decided strictly on its own merits and the impugned order may be set aside.
On the other side, it was submitted on behalf of the respondent-father that claim for eviction is maintainable under Section 4 of the Act read with various other provisions of the legislation. It was further argued that as per the object of the Act, the Tribunal or the appellate Court has also power to grant interim protection in view of the judgment of the Apex Court in Savitri v. Govind Singh Rawat.
At the outset, the Court deemed it pertinent to underline the object with which the legislation was enacted. It thus said,
“The said Act was enacted principally to ameliorate deprivation caused to the parents by the children. Due to declining of traditional norms, ethos and moral values of the Indian Society which emphasized and recognized the necessity to respect and provide care for the elderly had sadly receded and robbed the society in recent times of such values for which such legislation was necessitated.”
The Court also cited Dattatrey Shivaji Mane v. Leelabai Shivaji Mane & Others, wherein the Bombay High Court had observed that Section 4 of the Act permits application for eviction of child and grandchild if the conditions set out in that provision read with other provisions are satisfied, and the submission that the order of eviction cannot be passed by the Tribunal under Section 4 of the said Act read with other provisions of the Act was turned down.
Thereafter, taking the facts of the case and the laudable object of the Act into consideration, the Court opined that the Act is required to be interpreted in such a manner that mischief for which the Act has been enacted is fulfilled.
Accordingly, theCourt did not find any error in the order of eviction passed by the appellate Court directing the petitioner to vacate the house within a period of 7 days. It said, when the parents, who are owners of the house, require the petitioner to leave the house, the petitioner is bound to obey such order. For that purpose, the Court clarified, the father should not be asked to file traditional suit of eviction against his own son.
Case Title: Neeraj Baghel v. The Collector, Raipur & Ors.
Case No.: WP227 No. 109 of 2021
Judgment Dated: 6th January 2023
Coram: D.K. Tiwari, J.
Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr. Kshitij Sharma, Advocate
Counsel for the Respondents: Mr. Shakti Singh Thakur, Panel Lawyer for Respondents No. 1-3; Mr. Sanjay Agrawal, Advocate for Respondent No. 4