The Bombay High Court while upholding a Senior Citizens Welfare Tribunal order directed the husband and wife to vacate a flat and hand over the same to the 88-year-old mother. The Court also ordered petitioners to pay Rs.10,000/- as monthly maintenance.

The Bench of Justice S.V. Gangapurwala and Justice R.N. Laddha observed –

"In the present case, the maintenance amount granted by the Tribunal was Rs.25,000/- per month, which is not in accordance with sub-Section(2) of Section 9. Therefore, based on those described above, we find it difficult to approve the impugned order directing the petitioners to pay monthly maintenance of Rs.25,000/- to the respondent-mother. Thus, the impugned order stands modified so that the petitioners, instead of Rs.25,000/-, shall pay the respondent-mother a monthly maintenance amount of Rs.10,000/-."

Advocate Pradeep Thorat appeared on behalf of the petitioners whereas, Advocate Dinesh Purandare appeared for the respondent.

Facts of the case –

An order dated 28th July 2022 was passed by the Sub Divisional Officer, Eastern Suburbs, Mumbai Subarban District, acting as Chairman of the Senior Citizens Welfare Tribunal on a complaint made by the respondent. The respondent is the mother of the petitioner.

The respondent was constantly pressurised and threatened by the petitioners to vacate the apartment. They also forced respondent no. 3 to sign the documents of flat nos. 601 and 602. Due to such an act, a complaint was also filed in the police station against the petitioners.

The relief sought by the respondent was to direct the petitioners to vacate and hand over the possession of the flat situated in Mumbai to the respondent. Also, it was also sought to order the petitioners to pay Rs. 1,32,00,000/- with interest to the respondent.

The Tribunal after hearing both parties passed an order directing petitioners to pay Rs. 25,000/- as monthly maintenance to the respondent as well as vacate and hand over the possession of that flat to the respondent.

Therefore, a writ petition was filed in the Bombay High Court by the petitioners questioning the order of the Tribunal.

The High Court noted that the flat originally belonged to the respondent and her deceased husband. After the demise of the husband of the respondent, the said flat stands in the name of the respondent.

The Court while relying upon the case of Dattatrey Shivaji Mane v. Lilabai Shivaji Mane (2018) 6 Mah. L. J. 681. stated that the Tribunal is empowered to pass an order of eviction under the provisions of the Senior Citizens Act, 2007 Act if it is necessary to ensure the maintenance and protection of the senior citizen or parent.

The Court further held –

"In the present case, it is not disputed that the flat in question was purchased by respondent no.3 and her husband. Her husband had filed a nomination with the society in her favour. After the demise of the husband of respondent no.3, the said flat was transferred in the name of respondent no.3. The petitioner at no point in time took objection to the transfer of said flat in the name of respondent no.3 after the demise of her husband. In view of these well-established facts, it was not a summary case that necessitates oral evidence. The procedure is to be followed in deciding this case as per Section 8 of the Act 2007."

The Court also observed –

"We do not find anything on record to show the contrary. If the petitioners are not maintaining respondent no.3-mother and are creating a nuisance and emotional disturbances to her, the whole purpose of the Act would be frustrated. In such circumstances, we do not find any perversity in the finding recorded by the Tribunal while passing an order of maintenance."

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the Petition.

Cause Title – Hemant Gamanlal Mehta & Anr v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.

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