Eviction by the Tribunal should only be an incident of the enforcement of the right to maintenance and protection under the 2007 Act : Bombay High Court

The elderly parents, citizens and women are justly protected by the law under the provisions of several Acts to ensure that they aren’t exploited, however the same provisions shouldn’t be manipulated. This was held in the judgment passed by a two-bench judge comprising JUSTICES UJJAL BHUYAN & MADHAV J. JAMDAR, in the matter Ritika Prashant Jasani V. Anjana Niranjan Jasani and others, dealt with an issue where the petitioner filed for an appeal against the legality and validity of the order dated 15.12.2020 passed by the Deputy District Collector, Mumbai City acting as the Presiding Officer of the Tribunal for Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens.

Respondent is the mother-in-law of the petitioner. Petitioner along with her husband Mr. Prashant Niranjan Jasani and minor daughter Samaira are residing in a flat in Mumbai along with her mother in law. The said flat originally belonged to Mr. Anandlal Jasani, who during his lifetime made nomination in respect of the said flat whereby twenty percent share of the flat was granted in favour of petitioner’s husband Mr. Prashant.

The petitioner claims the said flat to be her matrimonial home as well as her shared household. Petitioner has stated that her husband Prashant Niranjan Jasani is suffering from mental illness and depression because of which he requires regular treatment and counselling. He is not in a position to contribute to the earnings of the family. Allegation of the petitioner is that respondent wants to sell the said flat and thereafter to retain the sale consideration to herself so as to enable her to lead an affluent lifestyle. Petitioner and her husband are opposed to selling of the flat. Petitioner states that the said flat is not self-acquired property of respondent; rather it is an ancestral property of the family of the petitioner’s husband wherein petitioner’s husband, petitioner and their minor daughter have equal right, title and interest.

Respondent No.1 filed a complaint before the Tribunal for Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens for eviction of the petitioner and her husband Prashant Jasani from the flat so as to allow her to reside in the flat all by herself.

Tribunal by order allowed the complaint of respondent and ordered petitioner and her husband to vacate and to hand over possession of the said flat to respondent within 60 days from the date of receipt of the said order failing which it was stated that they would be evicted from the flat by use of force.

After hearing both the parties, the Hon’ble Bombay High court allowed the petition and quashed the order dated 15.12.2020 passed by the Tribunal and remanded the matter back to the Tribunal for a fresh decision in accordance with law after hearing the parties and having regard to the discussions. It also held that, though the procedure contemplated under the 2007 Act is summary in nature nonetheless Tribunal is required to find out as to whether the flat in question belongs exclusively to respondent or it is an ancestral property where petitioner has also a right to ownership and / or residence through her husband and the tribunal is also required to deal with the contention of the petitioner that the flat in question is her shared household wherefrom she cannot be evicted.

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