MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has ordered a Mumbai resident and his wife to vacate the flat of his elderly parents within a month after it came to light that the man had been harassing them and refusing to leave the property.
A single bench presided over by Justice G S Kulkarni passed an order earlier this week, directing the man, Ashish Dalal, and his family to vacate the flat owned by his 90-year-old father and 89-year-old mother after noting that the elderly couple had been “suffering” at the hands of their only son and his wife.
While directing Dalal to vacate the flat, the high court also rued that parents have to approach courts to secure their rights and protect themselves from harassment meted out by their own sons.
“Before parting and having noticed that this is a case where the old parents are suffering at the hands of the only son and daughter-in-law, it appears that there is certainly some element of truth in the popular saying that ‘daughters are daughters forever and sons are sons till they are married’ albeit there would surely be exemplary exceptions,” the HC said.
The bench further said that the Senior Citizens Act mandated that offsprings and relatives of elderly citizens ensure that the latter led a normal life, free if any kind of harassment.
It also said that the present case was a sad one, where the man was intentionally preventing his parents from leading a normal life in their old age.
“The obligation of the children or relatives, as the case may be (under the Act), extends to ensure that a senior citizen may lead a normal life,” the high court said.
“This would certainly include within its ambit, protection from any harassment and torture meted out by a son or relative by keeping himself on the premises owned by the senior citizens,” it said.
The court was hearing a plea filed by Dalal challenging an order of the Senior Citizens Tribunal, which asked him and his wife to vacate the said flat.
The tribunal, too, had noted in its order that the couple was being harassed by their son.
During the arguments in the high court, the bench saw that while Dalal owned three residential premises himself in Navi Mumbai and Dahisar area, he had been insisting on staying in his parents’ flat in the city.
The benchrejected Dalal’s petition and directed him to vacate the flat within 30 days.
It said that the purpose of the Senior Citizens Act was to “aid senior citizens to lead a normal life” and that the provisions if the Act recognised and protected a senior citizen’s right to property.