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The Delhi High Court has recently held that a Maintenance Tribunal under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, has the jurisdiction to pass an order of eviction.
The judgment was delivered in an appeal against the order of the Maintenance Tribunal and the Single Judge Bench. Both of which, had held that in cases of parental abuse, an order of eviction can be passed by the Maintenance Tribunal in terms of the provisions of the Act.
The matter was regarding domestic dispute between a father Mohammud Aftab Khairi and his sons. The Maintenance Tribunal had directed the sons to peacefully vacate certain portions of the property occupied by them and make their own arrangements to shift.
The appellant sons were represented by Advocates Viresh B Saharya and Akshat Agarwal while the respondents were represented by advocate Jayant Bhatt, Mekhala Pandey, Manika Tripathy Pandey, Ashutosh Kaushik and Raveen Tandon.
The appellants argued that a Maintenance Tribunal inherently lacks jurisdiction to pass an order of eviction and the same is beyond the scope of the proceedings for maintenance, instituted on behalf of a senior citizen.
The Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Deepa Sharma observed that a plain reading of the extracted rules clearly reflect that a senior citizen is entitled to institute an application seeking eviction of his son, daughter or other legal heir from his self-acquired property on the ground of ill-treatment and non-maintenance.
On the question of whether a maintenance tribunal has the jurisdiction to pass an order of eviction, the Bench observed,
“At the outset, we had elaborated on how beneficial legislation in a welfare State demands a liberal interpretation wide enough to achieve the legislative purpose and be responsive to some urgent social demand in a welfare State.
The object for which the Act as well as the subject Rules, extracted hereinabove, were brought into force, namely, for the welfare of parents and senior citizens and for protection of their life and property, leave no manner of doubt that the Maintenance Tribunal constituted under the Act has the power and jurisdiction to render the order of eviction.”
The Court also observed that whilst exercising extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the courts of equity can both refuse or grant relief in furtherance of public interest on considerations of justice, equity and good conscience.
Read the judgment below.