Elderly parents can now throw out their abusive and greedy children from a “self-acquired” home by simply complaining to the deputy commissioner, rather than going to police or filing a lawsuit which is a time-sapping process.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government amended the Delhi maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens rules, 2009, allowing senior citizens to approach the area deputy commissioner with complaints against children.
“If the DC finds that the son, daughter or legal heir of a senior citizen is not caring for him or ill-treating him, and yet occupying his self-acquired property, a notice will be issued to the accused party. The son or heir will get a chance to explain which, if found unsatisfactory, will lead to an eviction notice,” an official said.
Before the Delhi government amended the rules, aggrieved parents could approach police to file a criminal complaint against any torture or ill-treatment by their children, or go to a civil court for justice.
But the judicial process is painfully slow as Indian courts are saddled with a backlog of millions of cases, officials said. It takes a court five to 10 years to reach judgment.
The amended rules put the responsibility on deputy commissioners to verify an elderly parent’s complaint and evict a son or daughter within 21 days.
Reports of cruelty by children towards their ageing parents abound in this city of more than 16 million people, out of which about 1.15 million were above 60, according to the 2011 census. Most of the abuses are related to property and savings.
The government’s move is in line with the Delhi high court’s ruling last November that a son, irrespective of his marital status, has no legal rights to live in his parents’ self-acquired house, but can do so only at their mercy.
The judgment is for a parent’s self-acquired house, not to be confused with a Hindu person’s birthright to ancestral property.
The high court upheld a trial court order, which has ordered a man and his wife to vacate a house after their parents sought their removal. The son and daughter-in-law claimed they were co-owners of the property, but couldn’t prove it in court.
The new rules, notified by the Delhi government’s social welfare department, clearly define the procedure for registration of a complaint with a deputy commissioner, and the process of eviction as well as the appeal against the action.
The deputy commissioner shall forward a complaint to sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) for verification of the property’s title deeds within a fortnight.
If the SDM finds the complaint genuine, establishing the authenticity through hard evidence such as official documents about a self-acquired home, the deputy commissioner will issue an order within another week. The divisional commissioner will hear an appeal against the eviction order.
“The entire process, from receiving a complaint to execution of the order, must be completed within 21 days,” an official said.