Delhi high court has ruled that where the house is self acquired house of the parents, son whether married or unmarried, has no legal right to live in that house and he can live in that house only at the mercy of his parents upto the time the parents allow. Merely because the parents have allowed him to live in the house so long as his relations with the parents were cordial, does not mean that the parents have to bear his burden throughout his life. This important judgment was delivered by Justice Pratibha Rani of Delhi high court on 24 November 2016 in the case of Sachin & Anr. v. Jhabbu Lal & Anr. [RSA 136/2016 & CM No.19123/2016].
The suit in this case was filed by respondent No.1, Sh.Jhabbu Lal and respondent No.2, Smt.Raj Devi pleading that they are senior citizens residing on ground floor in House No.RZ-H-81, Gali No.4, Nihal Vihar, Nangloi, Delhi-110041 and construction on the said plot has been raised upto second floor. Their elder son Sanjay along with his wife Mamta was permitted to live on the second floor whereas the younger son Sachin along with his wife Neetu was permitted to live on the first floor of the said property out of love and affection for their sons. The parents of the appellant No.1 claimed themselves to be owner of the suit property which was self acquired. It was further pleaded by the parents of the appellants that their sons as well their wives made the life hell for them so much so that they were not even paying the electricity bills. The old parents were constrained to make various complaints to the police and also issued public notice on 5th January, 2007 and 17th May, 2012 disowning their sons and debarring them from their self acquired property. It was also pleaded that said property was purchased by them by selling their earlier property being RZ-H-215A, Nihal Vihar, Laxmi Park, Nangloi, Delhi-110041. Since the behaviour of the two sons and their wives became unbearable, they filed a suit seeking a decree of mandatory injunction directing them to vacate the floors in their possession and also to restrain them from creating any third party interest in the said property.
The trial Court decreed the suit in favour of the parents, mainly on the following grounds:- (i) The documents i.e. GPA, agreement to sell, receipt and Will being in favour of the plaintiff No.1 (Father) though do not make him absolute owner but he has a better title as compared to the defendants. (ii) It has not been denied by the defendants that the property stands in the name of the plaintiff No.1 Sh. Jhabbu Lal and have not claimed any ownership right of their own distinguished from the plaintiffs. No evidence has been led to prove that they are the co-owners having contributed their share towards the purchase of the said property. (iii) The testimony of the plaintiffs that defendants were licensees and their license has been revoked stands unrebutted.
The first appeal bearing filed by son Sachin and his wife Neetu was dismissed observing that it was a case of gross-negligence on their part in defending the case. It was further held that in the absence of any evidence being led by them and the testimony of the parents having remained unchallenged, the impugned order was not suffering from any illegality.
In his second appeal before the high court, which was filed son Sachin and his wife Neetu, he was taking adjournments repeatedly after obtaining ad-interim stay against dispossession in his favour. The high court did not like it and observed that the case has no merits. The high court made the above observations (quoted earlier):
“Where the house is self acquired house of the parents, son whether married or unmarried, has no legal right to live in that house and he can live in that house only at the mercy of his parents upto the time the parents allow. Merely because the parents have allowed him to live in the house so long as his relations with the parents were cordial, does not mean that the parents have to bear his burden throughout his life.”
In view of these reasons, the high court held that no substantial question of law arises for the high court to exercise its power under Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure and accordingly, the appeal by the son was dismissed.
Good judgment. But, the fact remains that the suit which was filed in 2007 has not seen the effect till 2016, since due to stay, it appears that the son was yet to vacate the house of the parents. In fact, it is quite possible that the son may file SLP before the Supreme Court, which may further delay the vacation of the house by the son. So, the parents have already waited for 9 long years to get their son vacate their house, and it may take some time if SLP is filed before the Supreme Court.
Read full order of the court:
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