The Bombay high court last week upheld the orders of lower courts, awarding maintenance to an elderly couple, from Umbare, Ahmednagar, who contended that their sons neglected them.
Justice Shrihari Davare refused to interfere with the orders of the lower courts, primarily taking into consideration the fact that that the elderly couple was unable to maintain themselves, and that their three sons had neglected them.
The judge concurred with the findings of a magistrate court: that though the sons had sufficient means, they refused to support their parents – 80-year-old Laxman Shkrirsagar and his wife, 75-year-old Gayabai.
In 2002, the couple had moved the judicial magistrate’s court at Rahuri, seeking directions to all their three sons to pay them Rs1,500 per month, contending that their sons had deserted them without making any provision for their shelter or food, and that they had no source of income.
They had further said that they had been rendered landless, despite having some ancestral property, as one of their sons had taken disadvantage of their illiteracy and gotten the property transferred in his name.
The sons, on the other hand, denied the allegations of desertion before the magistrate, and asserted that they were not in a position to pay maintenance to the elderly couple.
After hearing both sides, in April 2004, the magistrate had directed the three sons to pay monthly maintenance of Rs1, 000 each, concluding that they had neglected the couple in their old age.
The order was challenged by one of the sons before Ahmednagar sessions court, which had confirmed the directive in September 2004, following which the matter was carried to the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court.