He, who once held the ‘exalted status’ of Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1989 and was a protector of constitutional rights and values, has been so harassed by his son and daughter-in-law over property that he is today moving from court to court seeking protection from his son.

Last week, Justice Shanti Swarup Dewan and his wife Romila Dewan moved the court seeking among other things that the scope of their petition be enlarged. They sought special cells for people who are old and infirm like them and left “by their progeny in the twilight of their life” when parents most need the support of their children. Their son Suveer Dewan is himself a lawyer in the court.

They also sought that Suveer, who along with his family is living with them in their Sector 11 house, be made to shift to his own house in Panchkula. The petition invoked the court’s jurisdiction under Article 226, 227 of the Constitution, stating that they “deserve to live a life of dignity and honour and not mere animal existence.”

Giving instances of abuse, they said their son was ill-treating them in their own house, abusing and threatening to physically harm them.

The first judge before whom the petition came up for hearing recused himself from the matter. It was eventually disposed off by a single bench with instructions to Chandigarh Senior Superintendent of Police to provide the couple with police protection. No notices were issued to the respondent parties.

The Dewans have now appealed before a Division Bench, stating that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 that is meant to provide succour to senior citizens like them is not fully implemented in the States, because the action plan which States were to notify according to Section 22(2) of the 2007 Act to provide protection and liberty to senior citizens has not been done. The couple pointed out that the Sector 11 house has been purchased by the judge himself for which he also took a loan from the court. He then bought another plot in Panchkula for his son, which the latter sold and with that money bought another house in Sector 2 Panchkula.