Senior citizens can't cancel transfer of property sans clause imposing obligation on transferee to maintain them: Madras High Court

The Court held that such transfer of property cannot be cancelled under Section 23 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007 without a pre-existing maintenance clause in the agreement.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

The Madras High Court recently held that parents, senior citizens or any other litigants cannot seek cancellation of transfer of property under Section 23 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007 unless transfer documents contains a clause mandating that the beneficiary must look after and provide for the parents, senior citizens [S Selvaraj Simpson v The District Collector].

Section 23 lays down circumstance under which transfer of property is void.

The property transferred by a parent, senior citizen, or any other eligible litigant cannot be taken back under the Act, if the transfer documents do not contain a clause mandating that the beneficiary must look after and provide for them, the Court held.

In a judgment passed on December 6, Justice R Subramanian said that it was essential to incorporate a clause at the time of such transfer, creating an obligation on the transferee to maintain or provide for the transferor for the rest of their lives, in order to invoke Section 23 of the Act.

Section 23 of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007
Section 23 of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007

The Court said that there are two essential pre-conditions for seeking declaration of a property transfer as null and void under Section 23 of the Act.

The first condition is that the transfer document should be executed after the Act came into force, and the second condition mandates that the transfer agreement should create an obligation on the part of the transferee or the beneficiary to maintain the transferor.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by one S Selvaraj seeking cancellation of the transfer of property and a direction to the local Revenue Divisional Officer to take cognisance of his complaint against his son, who he claimed had left him in the lurch after getting his properties and assets transferred. 

The Court, however, said that while Selvaraj had the liberty to initiate proceedings seeking maintenance from his son, and also to seek cancellation of the property transfer document before a jurisdictional civil court subject to availability of such a remedy, it could not permit cancellation of the transfer agreement in the present case.

"Section 23 declares certain transfers as void. There are two essential pre-conditions namely, the document should have been executed after the coming into for the Act and it should contain clause imposing an obligation on the settlee or transferree to maintain the settlor or transferor. Evidently, such clause is absent in the document in question therefore, the authority under Section 23 of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 cannot entertain an application for cancellation of the document," the order stated.

Advocate Sushil Rajkumar appeared for Selvaraj. Government advocate P Rajeswari appeared for the respondent district level authorities.

[Read Order]

Attachment
PDF
Selvaraj Simpson v District Collector.pdf
Preview

Related Stories

No stories found.
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news
www.barandbench.com