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Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 15, 2013
The Delhi high court has come to the aid of an elderly couple harassed by their son and daughter-in-law with whom they were staying at a house in Uttam Nagar.
Deciding the case, the fact of which sounded straight out of a saas bahu TV serial, justice GS Sistani not only asked the son to pay a monthly maintenance of Rs.5,000 to the parents but also directed partitioning of the kitchen in the house by building a wall.

“Each party can use one portion of the kitchen. This is to bring peace and avoid any future confrontation between them”, said judge Sistani. 

The father is an 88-year-old retired air force personnel while the mother, 85, is suffering from cancer.

The mother and daughter-in-law were having a heated argument even inside the court when the judge was making attempts to decide which portion of the kitchen each one can own.

The direction came after the parent’s lawyer Manjeet Singh Ahluwalia told the court that the son and daughter-in-law not only ignored the basic needs of their parents but also denied the mother-in-law entry into the kitchen, forcing her to cook inside their bedroom.

The parents moved the high court in November 2012 seeking contempt of court action against their son for not paying them the maintenance amount earlier directed by the court.

The parents first approached the Senior Citizens Maintenance Tribunal set up under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 in March 13, 2012.

The tribunal took strong note of the manner in which the son and daughter-in-law ignored the basic need of the parents and directed them to pay a monthly maintenance of  Rs.5,000 to them.