Single judge bench of Calcutta High Court held as follows:
Ramapada Basak and Anr Vs State of West Bengal and Ors on 23 Jul 2021
It is now well settled that the children and their spouses living in the senior citizen’s house are at best “licensees”. Such licence comes to an end once the senior citizens are not comfortable with their children and their families. This principle has also been followed by the Delhi High Court in in WP(C) 2761/2020 (Sandeep Gulati Vs. Divisional Commissioner), decided on 13.03.2020 and the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the cases of (a) Manmohan Singh Vs. U.T. Chandigarh and Ors. (Case No. 1365/2015), (b) Samsher Singh Vs. District Magistrate, U.T. Chandigarh (Case No. 2017 CWP 6365) and (c) Gurpreet Singh Vs. State of Punjab (Case No. 2016(1) RCR (Civil) 324)
Two issues would come up for consideration. The first of which is the availability of alternative remedy under the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents Senior Citizens Act, 2007. The other is a right of a daughter-in-law of residence to be provided by either the husband or the father-inlaw, if directed by a competent court under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of S. Vanitha Vs. Deputy Commissoner, Bangaluru Urban District and Ors. reported in 2020 SCConline SC 1023 has said that since both, the Senior Citizens Act, 2007 as also the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are special legislations, the two must be construed harmoniously and applied suitably by a writ court hearing a plea of the senior citizens that they do not want their children to live with them. At paragraphs 35-40 the Hon’ble Supreme Court has elaborately dealt with the principle under the headline “E. Harmonising competing reliefs under the PWDV Act 2005 and Senior Citizens Act 2007”.
In the instant case, it is seen that no right of residence has been sought under any Statute by the daughter-in-law. Hence, this Court is of the view that there is no impediment in allowing exclusive residentiary rights to the senior citizens and to direct eviction of the son and daughter-in-law.
On the question of alternative remedy, this Court is conscious of the principles laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Whirlpool Corporation Vs. Registrar of Trademark reported in (1998) 8 SCC 1 and upheld recently in the year 2021 in the case of Radha Krishan Industries Vs.
State of Himachal Pradesh and Ors. reported in 2021 SCCOnline SC 334.
However, the right of senior citizen to exclusively reside in his own house, must be viewed from the prism of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. To compel a senior citizen to approach either a civil court (the jurisdiction of which is any way barred under Section 27 of the 2007 Act) or take recourse to a special Statute like the 2007 Act would in most cases be extremely erroneous and painful for a person in the sunset days of life. This Court is therefore of the view that the principle of alternative remedy cannot be strictly applied to Senior Citizens and a Writ Court must come to the aid of a Senior Citizen in a given case.
A nation that cannot take care of its aged, old and infirm citizens cannot be regarded as having achieved complete civilization.
Other Sources :
Children living in parents’ house are at best licensees: Cal HC says senior citizens’ exclusive residentiary rights to be viewed from prism of Art. 21