The Delhi High Court has held that a parent can seek eviction of his children and legal heirs from any type of property, on grounds of non-maintenance and ill-treatment.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru asserted, “The Clause as it stands today expressly permits a citizen/parent to make an application for eviction of his son, daughter and legal heir from the property of any kind whether movable and immovable, ancestral or self-acquired and tangible or intangible.”
The court was hearing a petition filed by one Rajeev Behl, challenging an order passed by the Divisional Commissioner allowing his father to evict him and his wife, under the Delhi Maintenance & Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules, 2009.
The Divisional Commissioner had concluded that the father was being harassed and ill treated, and hence, the petitioner would have to be evicted from the premises for the father to live peacefully in his property.
The petitioner had now contended that the father’s application was not maintainable as he had not sought any maintenance from the son. This contention, the court opined, was unmerited, as Rule 22 (3)(i) of the Rules enables a senior citizen to make an application for eviction of a son, daughter or legal heir on account of non-maintenance “and” ill treatment.
“The contention that a senior citizen can maintain an application under Rule 22(3)(1)(i) of the said Rules only when he cumulatively establishes his allegation of non-maintenance and ill-treatment, cannot be accepted. This is so because accepting such contention would mean that so long as the son, daughter or heirs continue to pay maintenance, he or she can continue to ill-treat the senior citizen without fear of being evicted under Rule 22(3) of the said Rules. Such a construction of Rule 22(3) of the said Rules would militate against very object and purpose of enacting the said Rules,” the court explained.
The petitioner had further challenged the title of the property, asserting that it was a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) property where he had a built-in share. This contention was, however, rejected by the court, which believed that the claim was a “ruse”.
“The Division Commission found that there was no material which would establish the petitioner‘s case that the property in question is an HUF property. Merely claiming that the property in question had been purchased by sale of ancestral property can be of little assistance to the petitioner,” it observed.
The court further noted that notwithstanding such claim, the petitioner cannot resist eviction from the property in question. It relied on an amendment introduced by the Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Rules, 2017, which deleted the requirement of the property being “self-acquired property” for such eviction.
The court then dismissed the petition, observing, “There is ample material on record to indicate that respondent no.3 [the father] was distressed by the conduct of the petitioner and his wife. Respondent no.3 has a right to live peacefully and this Court finds no infirmity with the impugned order passed by the Divisional Commissioner.”
Costs of Rs. 15, 000 were imposed on the petitioner, to be paid to his father within three weeks