The Courts in India are taking strong stance against any children who try to flout their legal responsibilities placed on them by the law to take care of and support their elderly parents. In this case, the High Court of Chhatisgarh came down very strongly on the abusive son and his family on the application of the elderly parents. Read on.
Rights Against Abusive Children
Pramod Ranjankar & Anr. v. Arunashankar & ors.
In this case, the elderly couple husband and wife 89 & 77, sought relief (under the Seniors Act 2007) from the court against their son and daughter-in-law for physical assault and torture and not providing for their food, medications. They also complained that they were being confined to a corner in their own home.
On receipt of the complaint, the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class or the JMFC took cognizance of the case and found that prima facie case is made out under Section 24 of the 2007 Act against the son and daughter-in-law. The case u/s 24 was registered.
As the case was taking time, the elderly parents decided they could no longer allow their abusive son and daughter-in-law to live in their house and made an application for their eviction.
The JMFC refused to order eviction citing the pending application for relief against them u/s 24. The elderly took the matter in appeal to DM, District Magistrate who concurred with the JMFC and refused to reverse the JMFC’s orders.
And the matter ended up in the High Court of Chhatisgarh. The High Court quoted Section 24 as below:
24. Exposure and abandonment of senior citizen.– Whoever, having the care or protection of senior citizen, leaves such senior citizen in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning such senior citizen, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months or fine which may extend to five thousand rupees or with both.
Reading of section 24 would show that it started with opening words “the exposure and abandonment of senior citizen” meaning thereby the entire object is to protect the senior citizen.
Granting relief to the elderly in the form of eviction order for their son and daughter-in-law, exhorting the legal minds to give as liberal interpretation to the ‘protection’ of seniors as possible, the High Court said:
14. Having regard to the object of the Act and the intention of the legislature, there is no reason or justification or indication to restrict the meaning and scope of the word protection. A combined reading of sections 23 & 24 the Act would show that even if the property has been transferred by way of a gift or otherwise to the transferee, in lieu of such transfer of property the transferee has to provide basic amenities and physical needs to the transferor and if the transferee refuses or fails to provide such amenities and needs, the said transfer can be annulled. Like wise protection in person also takes within its sweep when the senior citizen is abandoned. Therefore, if the provisions are examined in the backdrop of the object, the protection and concept of possession cannot be narrowed down and alienated.
Taking a very practical and proactive approach the High Court added:
Whenever anything is required to be done by law and it is found impossible to do that thing unless something not authorized in express terms be also done then that something else will be supplied by necessary intendment.