The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act,2007 has been enacted under the Special Legislations for the protection and welfare of parents/senior citizens. It is the duty of the District Magistrate to provide adequate protection to the life and property of Senior Citizen. The Act and Rules explicitly state that if a parent/senior citizen who is the owner of the house and wants his children to vacate his home, the same can be done under this special legislation.
The Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana in the case titled as “Justice Shanti Sarup Dewan, Chief Justice(Retd.) and Anr V/s Union Territory, Chandigarh” reported at 2014(5) R.C.R(civil) 656 held that the children were living with the permission of their parents. Once the permission stands withdrawn, the children are required to move out of the premises to allow their parents to live in peace. The Senior Citizen Act is special legislation to ensure that a summary proceeding is adopted to the benefits of parents and senior citizens so that justice is delivered to them in a quicker and speedy manner. The objective of the Act is to provide an inexpensive and expeditious procedure for the protection of life and property of senior citizens from legal heirs who expected to maintain parents.
Senior Citizens who are abused or mistreated by their children have a right to evict their children from their house under the Special legislation i.e. Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act, 2007.
The Chandigarh Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Rules, 2009 are reproduced as under :-
“19.Duties and power of the District Magistrate:– (1) The District Magistrate shall perform the duties and exercise the powers mentioned in sub-rules (2) and (3) so as to ensure that the provisions of the Act are property carried out in his district.
(2) It shall be the duty of the District Magistrate to -(i) ensure that life and property of senior citizens of the district are protected and they are able to live with a sense of security and dignity;
(ii) oversee and monitor the work of Maintenance Tribunal and Maintenance officers of the district with a view to ensuring timely and fair disposal of application for maintenance, and execution of Tribunal’s orders;
(iii) xx xxxx
20. Action plan for the protection of life and property of senior citizens.- (1) xx xxxx
(2) xx xxxx
(3)(1) Procedure for eviction from property/residential building of Senior Citizen/Parent.-
(i) Complaints received (as per provisions of the Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007) regarding life and property of Senior Citizens by different Departments i.e Social Welfare, Sub Divisional Magistrates, Police Department, NGOs/Social Workers, helpline for Senior Citizens and District Magistrate himself, shall be forwarded to the District Magistrate, Union Territory, Chandigarh for further action.
(ii) The District Magistrate, Union Territory, Chandigarh shall immediately forward such complaints/applications to the concerned Sub Divisional Magistrates for verification of the title of the property and facts of the case through Revenue Department/ concerned Tehsildars within 15 days from the date or receipt of such complaints/applications.
(iii) The sub Divisional Magistrates shall immediately submit its report to the District Magistrate for final orders within 21 days form the date of receipt of the complaints/application.
(iv) If the District Magistrate is of opinion that any son or daughter or legal heir of senior citizen/parents are in unauthorized occupation of any property as defined in the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act 2007 and that they should be evicted, the District Magistrate-cum-Estate Officer shall issue in the manner hereinafter provided a notice in wiring calling upon all persons concerned to show cause as to why an order of eviction should not be issued against them/him/her.
(v) xx xxxx
(3)(2) Eviction Order from property/Residential building of Senior Citizen/parent-
(i) If after considering the cause, if any, shown by any person in pursuance to the notice and any evidence he/she may be produce in support of the same and after giving him/her a reasonable opportunity of being heard, the District Magistrate is satisfied that the property/premises are in unauthorized occupation, the District Magistrate or other officer duty authorized may make an order of eviction, for reason to be recorded therein, directing that the property/residential building shall be vacated, on such date as may be specified in the order, by all person who may be in occupation thereof or any part thereof, and cause a copy of the order to be affixed on the outer door or some other conspicuous part of the public premises.
The possession of children will always be in the nature of licensee. The law is very clear on the eviction of children if the parents do not consent to them staying.
Hon’ble High court of Punjab and Haryana in the case of Civil Writ Petition No.1365 of 2015, Manmohan Singh vs U.T. Chandigarh and others that the children at most are licensees. The relevant is being reproduced as under:-
“16. Perusal of order (Annexure P/6) reveals that House No. 763, Sector 43-A, Chandigarh stands transferred in the name of the petitioner vide transfer letter dated 16.08.2013. Respondent No.3 and his wife used to give thrashing to the petitioner, aged 83 years and his wife, aged 80 years, in fact they had made the living of these old people hell in the evening of their life. Admittedly, House No. 763, Sector 43-A, Chandigarh was purchased by the petitioner and his wife on power of attorney and later on transferred in the name of Parkash Kaur and thereafter transferred in the name of the petitioner. The provisions of the Act provide for protection of the property of the senior citizens. Respondent no.3 and his family appear to have taken possession of house with an oblique motive to grab the property in question and is in possession of the same against the wishes of the petitioner – owner. Admittedly, respondent no.3, his wife and children started residing in the house in question with the permission of the petitioner and at the most are licencees. The licence stands terminated the moment petitioner conveyed the respondents and his family members to termination of the licence.There is no vested right in the licencee(s) to remain in possession of the property of the petitioner. Although petitioner has approached civil court for ejectment of respondent no.3 under the compelling circumstances, may be due to wrong advice. The remedy under the Act is summary in nature and the provisions of the Act have overriding effect qua any other enactment in view of Section 3 of the Act. The jurisdiction of civil court is barred in view of Section 27 of the Act.
- In view of above, instant writ petition is allowed. Impugned order (Annexure P/6) is set aside. The application under Sections 21 and 22 of the Act stands allowed. Respondent no.3 along with his family is directed to vacate the premises within two months from the date of receipt of certified copy of this order, failing which District Magistrate, U.T., Chandigarh shall proceed in accordance with law for eviction of respondent no.3 and his family. Hope someday good sense will prevail on the family members”.
Also Hon’ble High Court in Shamsher Singh versus District Magistrate, U.T. Administration, Chandigarh,(2017) CWP 6365, eviction of the son ordered on ground that the father wants to live his remaining part of life along with his wife in a most peaceful and uninterrupted manner. Eviction of the son was ordered as the son was occupying house only as a licensee.
Similarly in Gurpreet Singh v. State of Punjab 2016 (1) RCR (Civil) 324, the position of licensee was explained and what steps can be taken by the District Magistrate to protect the property of the senior citizen and if a civil suit is pending what would legality of any order passed for eviction of children from the property of the senior citizen. The following observation was made by the Hon’ble High Court, the relevant Para are 12,13 and 14 and reproduced as under:-
- The petitioner is a licensee living in the premises on the basis of concession given by his father to live in the property owned by him. As a licensee, the petitioner is only permitted to enjoy the possession of the property licensed but without creating any interest in the property. A licence stands terminated the moment the licensor conveys a notice of termination of a licence. There is no vested right of any kind in the licensee to remain in possession of the property licensed.
Protection of the property of a senior citizen includes all incidences, rights and obligations in respect of property in question. Once a senior citizen makes a complaint to District Magistrate against his son to vacate the premises of which the son is a licensee, such summary procedure will ensure for the benefit of the senior citizen. The petitioner would have no right to resist his eviction only on the ground that the Act does not contemplate eviction of an occupant. Eviction is one part of the right to protect the property of a senior citizen which right could be exercised by a senior citizen in terms of provisions of the statute, Rules framed and the Action Plan notified.
- The argument that civil suit is pending regarding the rights of the petitioner in the property in question; therefore, the order of District Magistrate is not legal does not merit any acceptance. Suffice it to state that jurisdiction of the Civil Court is barred in respect of all matters falling within the jurisdiction of the Act in terms of Section 27 thereof. Since, the protection of life and property falls within the jurisdiction of the District Magistrate, therefore, the District Magistrate is competent authority to take steps for the protection of life and property of the senior citizensame as above
- However, we may say that such summary exercise of the jurisdiction is without prejudice to the rights of the parties which may be determined by the Civil Court in accordance with law.
Keeping in view the Morality and Ethics of the Indian society, it is very well understood that the parents have a moral obligation to maintain their children and care for them, but to what extent can this be implemented. That even the Hon’ble High court has taken notice regarding how children today are becoming insensate towards parents and are making attempts to throw out their aged parents.
In Ashwinder Singh and another v. Bhagwant Singh and another, 2014(3) R.C.R. (Civil) 906. It would be apposite to reproduce relevant paragraphs:-
“This unfortunate regular second appeal is a poignant reminder of decaying social values and traditions in our country. The case is telltale story of how children have become detached in today’s commercialized world and are making attempts to throw out their aged parents from the property which the parents have acquired during their lifetime. It is perfect example of children becoming insensate towards parents/senior citizens.”Maatru Devo Bhava” (revere your mother as God) and “Pitro Devo Bhava” (revere your father as God) is a well-known proverb.
On page 1200 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Sri Guru Ram Dass has written that “KAAHAY POOT JHAGRAT HA-O SANG BAAP/JIN KAY JANAY BADEERAY TUM HA-O TIN SIO JHAGRAT PAAP//” (O son, why do you argue with your father? It is a sin to argue with the one who fathered you and raised you).
Lastly, in order to prevent interference by Civil Courts qua any action taken in furtherance of the provisions of the said Act, Section 27 of Maintenance& Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act,2007bars the Jurisdiction of the Civil Courts, especially in respect of injunction. Section 27 of the said Act reads as under:-
“27 Jurisdiction of civil courts barred: No civil court shall have jurisdiction in respect of any matter to which any provision of this Act applies and no Injunction shall be granted by any Civil Court in respect of anything which is done or intended to be done by or under this Act”.