The Bombay High Court called upon the Maharashtra Government to explain the long period of closure of the tribunal established under the provisions of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act 2007 when all other authorities have resumed its functioning physically or through video conferencing as deemed fit.
The Bench of Justice Milind N Jadhav and Nitin Jamdar J in the order to the writ petition filed in Bombay High Court by Subhash Ramnath Pandey asked the state government as to when the tribunal would resume functioning. The writ petition was filed by the petitioner Subhash Ramnath Pandey under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the direction of eviction from the High Court against his son Anam Subhash Pandey and his family from the petitioner’s flat.
The petitioner contends that he filed a writ petition in High Court because the tribunal established under the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act 2007 is not functioning due to the COVID pandemic. The petitioner further asserts that since the tribunal is not functioning since March of this year the court should issue the direction of an eviction and provide him the relief. To the above contentions of the petitioner, the respondent filed a reply affidavit stating that the relief of eviction sought by the petitioner is not maintainable before the tribunal established under the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act 2007. The respondent also added that the petitioner who is his father was a Member of the Legislative Assembly and also a Cabinet Minister and there is no such ground that he is unable to maintain himself. The court after hearing the arguments of both the parties made the following important observations-
- The direction of eviction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to a private respondent cannot be issued.
- The court does not wish to adjudicate the issue of whether the relief can be claimed under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act 2007 as the tribunal established for the purpose of the act is temporarily closed.
- Writ Jurisdiction cannot be exercised to issue a direction to private parties.
The court further observed that neither of the party is living in a penny and it is a purely domestic dispute and there is no need for immediate relief. The court took note that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act 2007 which is enacted to provide relief to a senior citizen who may suffer because of neglect by children and there would be many such Senior Citizens who are in need of immediate relief and they would have no sort of relief because of the temporary closure of the tribunal since March which is a very long period of time. The court thus calling upon the state government said that since various authorities have resumed functioning there is no need for the tribunal to be closed and it should resume its functioning physically or through video conferencing as found fit. The court in the conclusion of the order made it clear that it will not look into the inter se dispute between the parties and only for the limited purpose of issuing the directions to the state government regarding the closure of the tribunal established under the provisions of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act 2007 the petition is considered. [Read Order]