The Bombay High Court recently dismissed a petition filed by one Dattaray Mane and ordered and him and his family to vacate his 73-year-old mother’s property in Girgaon. Mane, along with his wife, son and daughter, was residing in the house of his mother, Lilabai Mane.
Justice RD Dhanuka was hearing Mane’s challenge to an order of the Tribunal for Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens dated February 1, 2018.
A complaint was filed by Lilabai Mane praying for maintenance and eviction of her son from the house. The tribunal allowed Lilabai’s application and directed Dattaray to vacate the premises within 30 days. This order was challenged before the high court.
JP Kharge, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, submitted that complaint was filed by Lilabai against the petitioner only whereas the tribunal has passed the order of eviction also against the wife, son and daughter of the petitioner from the suit premises which is not permissible in law.
He also submitted that the tribunal has no jurisdiction to evict the petitioner or his family members under Section 4 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
Whereas Lilabai’s counsel Sandeep Naik submitted that because of mental torture and continuous harassment of his client by the petitioner and his family members, she filed several complaints against them in past 10 years. Naik informed the court that during the pendency of the petition, Dattaray had physically assaulted his mother because of which she filed a police complaint.
As for jurisdiction of the tribunal, Naik relied on two judgments of the Delhi High Court in Sunny Paul & Anr v State NCT of Delhi & Ors, delivered on March 15, 2017, and Sachin & Anr v Jhabbu Lal & Anr, delivered on November 24, 2016, and said the tribunal had ample power to direct eviction of the premises owned exclusively by Lilabai.
The court noted:
“It is not in dispute that the respondent no.1 has exclusive rights in the tenement which is allowed to be occupied by the petitioner and his family members by the respondent no.1. It is not in dispute that the respondent no.1 has filed several police complaints against the petitioner and his family members in various police stations alleging harassment and other offences. The complaints filed against the petitioner under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 has been dismissed not on merit but for default.”
Further, the court looked at the harassment meted out to Lilabai by Dattaray and his family in her own home. Lilabai, in her complaint, stated that Dattarya and his family members used to beat her causing injuries on her body. In fact, a complaint filed by Lilabai before LT Marg Police Station states that the petitioner and his wife used to beat and abuse her regularly.
“The provision of Section 4 of the said Act permits such application for eviction of child and grandchild if the condition set out in that provision read with other provisions are satisfied. In my view, there is thus no substance in the submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the order of eviction cannot be passed by the Tribunal under Section 4 of the said Act read with other provisions of the said Act,” the court said.
Justice Dhanuka accepted the argument advanced by Lilabai’s counsel and held that the tribunal indeed had such jurisdiction to evict Dattaray and his family from the house exclusively owned by Lilabai.
“The principles of law laid down by the Delhi High Court in the case of Sachin & Anr. Vs. Jhabbu Lal & Anr. (supra) would squarely apply to the facts of this case. In my view, no child can compel his parents and more particularly senior citizen to allow such child or grandchild to stay with him.”
Thus, the court upheld the order of the tribunal and directed to Dattaray and his family members to evict the said premises within two weeks of the order.