HC frowns on daughter’s ‘gift’ to parents

Court rejects appeal of a woman, beneficiary of a gifted property, who was found to have physically assaulted her parents and driven them out of their own house

Updated - November 12, 2023 12:29 am IST

Published - November 11, 2023 09:14 pm IST

The obligation of children to look after their parents during the evening of their life becomes more vigorous when the children have got the property of the parents through gift, said the High Court of Karnataka.

“Law, religion and morality impose an obligation on the children to look after their parents at least during the evening of their life and this obligation becomes more vigorous when the children have taken the property of the parents by way of gift,” the court observed while rejecting a woman’s plea questioning a tribunal’s order cancelling the property given to her by her father by way of a gift deed.

Appeal rejected

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale and Justice Krishna S. Dixit, made these observations while rejecting an appeal filed by Kavitha R. of Gubbi taluk in Tumakuru district.

The appellant had questioned the verdict of a single judge upholding the order of the tribunal, set up under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, in cancelling the gift deed as it was found that she, along with her husband, had physically assaulted her parents and driven them out of their own house.

Statutory obligation

“The liability to look after the aged father and mother is not a matter of charity but a statutory obligation. The scriptures of this country since millennia have injuncted rakshanti sthavire putra, literally meaning that the sons should look after the parents in the evening of their life,” the Bench observed.

Also, the Bench pointed out that even the 1991 resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations stated, “Older persons should benefit from family and community care and protection in accordance with each society’s system of cultural values.” The 2007 Act mandates that the children respect and look after their aged parents, the Bench noted.

Pointing out that many cases of harassment of parents did not come to light at all, for obvious reasons, the Bench said that several such cases were coming before the court, and it was not acceptable. The Bench also advised the courts, authorities, and the tribunals to be extra vigilant and strict in dealing with such cases.

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