Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday ordered the UT senior superintendent of police (SSP) to ensure the protection of a former chief justice of the high court and his wife from the elderly couple's son.
The court's decision came on a petition filed by former Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice Shanti Sarup Dewan, 85, who sought the safeguard of his and his wife's life and liberty from their own son. Dewan had retired in December 1989.
Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa ordered the SSP or any other officer deputed in this regard to visit the retired judge's house in Sector 11 within 24 hours, which end on Saturday, and take required steps after interacting with the couple.
The former chief justice along with his wife had filed a petition in the high court, seeking directions to ensure shifting of their son, advocate Suvir Dewan, out of their self-acquired house in Sector 11 and provide police protection on account of threats given to them by their son. It was asserted that the petitioners have been “traumatised” and their lives have been made a “living hell” by their son.
The court was also requested to issue directions for the creation of a special cell to deal with the complaints of senior citizens and parents who have been traumatised by their own children.
The petitioners had informed the court that they had two daughters and a son. Both the daughters were married and staying separately. But their son, Suvir Dewan, lived with them along with his wife and daughter.
The former judge, in his petition, informed the court that to ensure their son led an independent life, the petitioner had purchased a plot for him in Sector 6, Panchkula, and transferred it in his son's name in 1990. However, their son sold the plot in 1991 and used the sale proceeds to purchase another plot in Sector 2, Panchkula, in his name and built a house on it. But he still lived with the petitioners.
Contacted, UT SSP Naunihal Singh said they would comply with the directions of the court.
Declining the prayer for eviction of Suvir Dewan from the house of the former Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice, the court said that whether the petitioners had exclusive possession of the house could not be gone into by the high court.
The court added that to take a decision on the issue, determination of the nature of property - if it was self-acquired or ancestral - should be left for adjudication in the civil courts.
On the issue of seeking directions for constituting a “special cell” to deal with complaints of senior citizens, the court said the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, is exhaustive and already in place. “This is a comprehensive enactment covering the issues relating to maintenance of parents or senior citizens, establishment of old-age homes, providing for medical care of senior citizens and protection of life and property of senior citizens,” the court said, adding that no further directions were called for.