Coming to the aid of a 74-year-old widow, who was harassed by her son and daughter-in-law, a Delhi court has asked the couple to vacate her house, saying there is rampant abuse and misuse of the domestic violence and dowry laws to “silence and arm-twist the aging parents”.
“Life is not a ladder but a wheel which takes a full circle.... The courts of law cannot permit the elderly to be abandoned financially as well as emotionally at an age when they need their own most,” additional district judge Kamini Lau said in her judgement, adding the judiciary would step in to stop “inappropriate and illegal conduct” of children against aged parents.
”We forget that if we do not care for our parents at the age they require us, our kids would not care for us,” the judge said.
The court held that Shanti Devi, an elderly woman residing in Central Delhi, was entitled to possession of two properties and directed her son and daughter-in-law to vacate the house and peacefully hand it over to her.
It also directed the couple to pay damages of Rs 5,000 per month to Devi from the time of filing of suit in October 2015, till the date of handing over the property to her.
The court observed that Devi was a frail woman who was made to rush to the court in the twilight years of her life due to the harassment meted out to her by her son and daughter-in-law.
“This senior citizen has been facing trauma, harassment and humiliation in the hands of her own son and his wife. She has made numerous complaints to the police and reported the their harassment,” the judge noted, adding that the couple was doing it to usurp the property.
“This is not the story of Shanti Devi alone but thousands of senior citizens which we hear almost every day,” it said.
The court declared null and void the sale agreement of the property, Will and power of attorney as produced by Devi’s son Ramakant and his wife Poonam and restrained them from selling the house to anyone.
“Respecting our parents and elders and caring for them is an integral part of our rich Indian culture and tradition. Of late, there is a rampant abuse and misuse of the domestic violence and dowry laws only to silence and arm-twist the aging parents.
“Life is not a ladder but a wheel and takes a full circle. As the wheels of time turns, men wear many names and faces and no one wants to realise the great pattern the wheel weaves,” the court observed.