Transfer Of Property Cannot Be Cancelled If There Exists No Obligation To Maintain Parents In Agreement- Madras HC
The Madras High Court recently held that parents, senior citizens or any other litigants cannot seek cancellation of transfer of property under Section 23 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007 (The Act) without a pre-existing maintenance clause in the agreement.
The Bench of Justice R Subramanian held that if the transfer document does not contain a clause mandating the transferor to look after and maintain the transferee, then the property transferred by a parent, senior citizen, or any other eligible litigant cannot be taken back under the Act.
Advocate Sushil Rajkumar appeared for the petitioner and Government Advocate P. Rajeswari appeared for the respondent.
The Court observed that on perusal of the document executed by the petitioner, it was revealed that the petitioner could not seek the relief under the special enactment namely, Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and said that Section 23 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 declares certain transfers as Void and as per Section 23, there are two essential pre-conditions that needed to fulfilled- First was that the document should have been executed after the coming of the Act into force, and second, that the document should contain a clause imposing an obligation on the settlee or transferree or beneficiary to maintain the settlor or transferor.
The Court held that in order to take invoke Section 23, it was essential to incorporate the clause mandating the beneficiary to maintain and provide for the transferee, for the rest of their lives and if such a clause was not incorporated in the document, then the benefit under section 23 of the Act could not be claimed.
"Section 23 of the Act declares certain transfers as void. There are two essential pre-conditions namely, the document should have been executed after the coming into for the Act and it should contain clause imposing an obligation on the settlee or transferree to maintain the settlor or transferor. Evidently, such clause is absent in the document in question therefore, the authority under Section 23 of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 cannot entertain an application for cancellation of the document." observed the Court.
The Court further said that the petitioner has the liberty, to initiate appropriate proceedings, seeking maintenance from his son and also, for cancellation of the document before the appropriate Civil Court subject to the availability of the remedy.
Accordingly, the Court dismissed the writ petition and said that the application before the Revenue Divisional Officer was not maintainable.
Cause Title- S. Selvaraj Simpson v. The District Collector & Anr.