In a welcoming decision that gives a huge sigh of relief to elderly parents, Bombay High Court (BHC) ruled that parents can take back any property gifted to their son just in case if they are ill-treated or harassed by him, as reported by the Times of India.
A division bench of Justices namely Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudesai, while hearing a petition lodged by a son challenging a tribunal’s order that cancelled a gift deed given by his father, ruled in father’s favour because he was ill-treated or harassed by his son.
Reportedly, Natvar, following the death of his wife, wished to marry again. It was then that he had given half of a share of his flat in Andheri, Mumbai to his son and daughter-in-law, by means of gift deed to “maintain peace in the family”.
However, after Natvar’s second marriage, he alleges that his son and daughter-in-law started harassing his second wife and following the tribunal’s order, the son filed a petition seeking respite from the Bombay High Court.
The court had clearly mentioned that the gift deed was given by the father on the request of his son and that being the case, he implied that the son and daughter-in-law would take care of the father and his second wife after 50% of the share in the flat was transferred in the son’s name, the judges highlighted.
Despite the fact that the son and daughter-in-law were interested to look after the father, they were not interested to take care of his second wife, said the judges, and in such circumstances there was no error in the tribunal’s order to cancel the gift deed, the judges ruled.
The Times Of India while quoting the judges added, “Obviously, the son and his wife though ready and willing to look after the father were unwilling to do so in respect of the second wife. In the above circumstances, we do not find any error in the order (cancelling the gift deed); therefore, we are not inclined to entertain this petition.”
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, has a provision to protect vulnerable parents and elderly people, who they gift assets so that the person would be with them and take care of them.