The Punjab and Haryana high court has made it clear that where any senior citizen has transferred his property "by way of gift or otherwise" to any person, including children, and the transferee fails to provide amenities and physical needs to him/her, the senior citizen has the right to declare the transfer of property void.
The order came from the court headed by justice MMS Bedi while upholding the Panchkula Maintenance Tribunal order and directing the son, Pankaj, of a retired Indian Police Service officer, KS Tomar, 75, to vacate the house of his father within two months.
Pankaj and his wife, Promil, had approached the high court, challenging the Panchkula Maintenance Tribunal's order dated June 19 and had stated that the tribunal had no jurisdiction to interfere in their property case and direct them to evict Tomar's house.
However, Tomar had informed the court that he was being subjected to physical torture by his son and daughter-in-law, and wanted them to vacate the possession of his self-acquired house's first floor in Sector 6, Panchkula.
Tomar had also placed on record photographs of his daughter-in-law assaulting him and had said that he had already gifted the portion which was now being illegally occupied by Pankaj and his wife to his eldest son Sanjay. But Pankaj was not ready to vacate it even after the tribunal's orders.
The court said, "The petitioner's transferees have apparently failed to provide for the amenities, physical needs or even care for the welfare of respondent No 5 (Tomar) giving a cause of action to respondent No 5 to seek the protection of Section 23 (1) of the (Parents) Maintenance Act and get the transfer by way of possession declared void bringing the act of the petitioners under the definition of fraud."
The court observed, "The Maintenance Act proposed to cast an obligation on the persons who inherit the property of their aged relatives, to maintain such aged relatives. The objective of the Maintenance Act was also to provide to set up appropriate mechanism to provide need-based maintenance to the parents, senior citizens and setting up of old-age homes in every district."