‘Anxiety to stop the right of the abuse of senior citizen is to be made effective as otherwise it would be a symbolic collapse of the legal system by not responding to the request or by adhering to the dummy mode by Courts.’
The Chhattisgarh High Court in Pramod Ranjankar vs. Arunashankar, has held that a senior citizen can ask for ejectment as an interim measure under the Maintenance and Welfare of the Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
An elderly senior citizen couple had approached the Magistrate’s Court under Section 24 of the Act, complaining torture, ill-treatment and misbehaviour/manhandling committed by their son and daughter-in-law. The magistrate took cognizance of the offence, but rejected their plea wherein they had stated that as the disposal of pending criminal case which is registered may take some time, the son and daughter should be ousted from the house.
Their appeal before the district court also did not bear fruit as it held that that the ejectment of like nature is not maintainable under the provisions of the Act when the petition filed under Section 24 of the Act is pending.
The high court observed there is no express provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure which authorises a magistrate to make an interim order directing ejectment of respondents pending disposal of an application for maintenance.
Referring to various provisions, Justice Goutam Bhaduri observed: “The jurisdiction conferred by this section on the Magistrate is more in nature of a preventive, rather than a remedial jurisdiction. In view of this, it is the duty of the Magistrate to interpret the provisions of Chapter VI of the Act 2007 in such a way that the construction placed on them would not defeat the very object of the legislation. In absence of any express prohibition, it is appropriate to construe the provisions in chapter VI as conferring an implied power on the magistrate to direct the person against whom an application is made under Section 24 of the Act not to harm the senior citizen also.”
Taking into account, the facts of the instant case, the court said: “The two senior citizens aged about 89 years and 77 years have complained of physical assault and torture by the son and daughter-in-law by not providing them food, medicine and also confining them to a corner of their own house. It is not expected that a senior citizen will run from pillar to post and the assault and abuses would be allowed to be continued in the same house till the petition u/s is decided on merits. One can foresee the impact that when a senior citizen who is subjected to torture occupying the same house and is confined in a room and are assaulted daily by the respondent son and daughter-in-law then strict measures have to be followed to arrest such humiliation and assault and the Court cannot follow the proposition of “wait and watch” by sitting on the fences.”
Directing the district magistrate to ensure that the son and daughter-in-law are evicted, the court observed: “It is not expected that after the damage is done to a senior citizen who is occupying some house with his son, the law will come to the rescue of the petitioners through the route of IPC. Therefore, the anxiety to stop the right of the abuse of senior citizen is to be made effective as otherwise it would be a symbolic collapse of the legal system by not responding to the request or by adhering to the dummy mode by Courts.”