The question of whether senior citizens can seek for ejectment of their children as an interim measure was answered by the Chhattisgarh High Court in Pramod Ranjankar vs. Arunashankar. The Petitioners had sought for protection before the Magistrate’s Court under Section 24 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 complaining torture, ill-treatment and misbehaviour/manhandling committed by their son and daughter-in-law. The Magistrate however, rejected the plea of the Petitioners for having the son and daughter in law ousted from the house till the disposal of the pending criminal case filed against the son and daughter in law. The subsequent appeal was rejected by the District Court on the grounds that the ejectment was not maintainable under the provisions of the Act.
The High Court, in its observations, noted that there is no express provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code that gives power to the Magistrate to make any interim orders of ejectment pending disposal of any application for maintenance. The Court stated on this observation as follows:
“16………….The jurisdiction conferred by this section on the Magistrate is more in nature of a preventive, rather than a remedial jurisdiction. In view of this, it is the duty of the Magistrate to interpret the provisions of Chapter VI of the Act 2007 in such a way that the construction placed on them would not defeat the very object of the legislation. In absence of any express prohibition, it is appropriate to construe the provisions in chapter VI as conferring an implied power on the magistrate to direct the person against whom an application is made under Section 24 of the Act not to harm the senior citizen also.”
The Court further noted the situation of the senior citizens and highlighted on the plight of the Petitioners and the trauma that they were made to face on account of no specific action taken against the Respondents pending the disposal of the criminal case. Further, the senior citizens, in this case the Petitioners, are not expected to run from one authority to another seeking remedy and still face assault and abuse at the hands of the Respondents till the decision on the petition is made on merits.
The High Court, whilst directing the District Magistrate to ensure eviction of the Respondents, observed:
“It is not expected that after the damage is done to a senior citizen who is occupying some house with his son, the law will come to the rescue of the petitioners through the route of IPC. Therefore, the anxiety to stop the right of the abuse of senior citizen is to be made effective as otherwise it would be a symbolic collapse of the legal system by not responding to the request or by adhering to the dummy mode by Courts.”
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