Three daughters of a widow living here in the Capital have been directed to purchase a suitable independent residential accommodation for their mother within two months after she petitioned the Maintenance Tribunal of the Central District that she was dispossessed by them, without fair compensation, of two properties that her husband had bequeathed to the family. The widow had also complained that she let go her claims to the two properties after alleged pressure, misbehaviour and harassment by the daughters.
Tribunal members Sukhbir Chand, Mahesh Chandra and presiding officer Bans Raj ruled that the three daughters should each pay Rukmani Devi Rs.3,000 by the tenth of each month and show proof of payment to the tribunal. They also directed the youngest daughter to pay Rs.4.5 lakh that was due to the widow, after she signed over the release deed of her share in the second property, on the assurance that she would be paid Rs.7 lakh.
The Tribunal, set up under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, also warned that it can declare the transfer of property to have been “made by fraud or coercion or under undue influence”.
Responding to the elderly woman’s complaint that she was staying in rented accommodation now, despite having been bequeathed two properties, the Tribunal directed the daughters to purchase independent accommodation. It noted that ultimately the three daughters would inherit all of Rukmani Devi’s movable and immovable properties and had already received a huge sum of money from the properties bequeathed by their father.
The Tribunal also directed the Karol Bagh SHO to conduct regular visits to the old lady to ensure her safety and prevent harassment.
One of the properties at Beadanpura was disposed of for Rs.50 lakh with the three daughters and the widow supposed to get Rs.12.5 lakh each. The widow alleged that she was deprived of this amount by the two elder daughters. The woman lived at the second property at Dev Nagar in Karol Bagh until the youngest daughter pleaded with her to let her husband and herself move in.
After a while, they began harassing her. Estimating that the Dev Nagar flat cost Rs.28 lakh, an agreement was arrived with the two elder daughters and the widow by the youngest daughter that she would pay Rs.7 lakh to each of them. However, she paid only Rs.2.5 lakh to the mother, following which the widow approached the tribunal.
In their order, the three Tribunal members said the widow was in need of “emotional and physical assistance and social security which is being denied by her own daughters and sons-in-law” and was hence entitled to maintenance.