The Bombay High Court reiterated the old saying that daughters will stand by their parents forever rather than sons who leave their parents as soon as they get married. The Bombay High Court while hearing a plea filed by the son challenging the Maintenance Tribunals acknowledged an old saying, providing some relief to the parents.
A complaint was filed in the Maintenance Tribunal by a couple who are 90 and 89 years old against the harassment by their son. The tribunal while hearing the complaint ordered the sons and his family to vacate the house in which his elderly parents were residing.
The son and his family filed a writ petition challenging the tribunal’s order. It was argued that the house was gifted by the parents to their daughter which concluded that the house doesn’t belong to parents to invoke Section 4 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005. The families of the son also argued that since the local court has passed an order in favor of the elderly mother not to dispossess them from the house, thus they cannot approach maintenance in the said matter.
The counsel of the parents cited some instances of harassment committed on them and argued that at this vulnerable age the couple is tortured by the son and daughter in law.
The court said that the senior citizens are nowhere precluded from approaching the tribunal, as Section 4 includes all aspects of the maintenance. Also, the father was not part of the initial proceedings hence they hold the right to approach the tribunals.
The court held that the fact that several legal proceedings between the family and parents are evidence that they have been tortured and subjected to harassment at this tender age. Also, the fact that the family of the son is forcibly living in the house even the parents didn’t want them to live certainly amounts to torture and harassment. Also, the property in question is not an ancestral property hence the son can’t claim legal rights over it.
The court said it is very saddening to parents in such a situation and showed concern at their situation. The court also said, “Before partying and having noticed that this is a case where the old parents are suffering at the hands of the only son and daughter-in-law, it appears that there is certainly some element of truth in the popular saying that ‘daughters are daughters forever and sons are sons till they are married’ albeit there would surely be exemplary exceptions.”
Further, the Hon’ble court dismissed the appeal of the son against the tribunal’s order and asked them to vacate the house.