The Madras High Court recently ruled that a clause containing the protection of senior citizens in a property deed must be incorporated mentioning “the transferee will provide basic/physical needs to their parents under section 23 of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007”.
The Court made the said judgement after taking into account the growing number of senior citizens being thrown out after the settlement and sale of the properties.
The officials of the registration department were ordered by the HC to make sure that the conditions laid in Section 23 of the Act must be met and added to the deeds correctly. The court added that Section 23 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 clearly laid down that the transferor when a senior citizen, the deed of sale or gift of that property should contain a clause that the transferee must provide the transferor with basic amenities. The failure to perform this on part of the transferee, the Court ruled, will be considered “transfer of property deemed to be made by Fraud,Coercion or undue influence.”
It was observed by Justice S. Vaidyanathan of the Madras Bench that under section 24 of the same Act, for persons who did not fulfill their responsibility of caring for the senior citizen and rather left them out on the streets should be imprisoned, this rule must be made mandatory. The imposition of a fine was not seen as a primary punishment according to Justice S. Vaidyanathan, but merely a secondary one.
The order was passed by the bench after various petitions were filed for cancellation of property deeds with the same issue of unfair treatment or non-protection of the senior citizens.
“Even though the discretion is given to the Magistrates to try the offence and impose punishment, unless the sword of Damocles is hanging on the youngsters, there will be lots of old age homes mushrooming.”, added Justice S. Vaidyanathan.
The Court directed the registrar of the Court to place the matter before the Chief Justice for it to be looked over by a larger bench.