March 17, 2009 1:10:08 am
Having a roof over his head does not disqualify a father from seeking maintenance from his children in the twilight of his life. So held a city court as it directed the three sons of a 75-year-old man to provide for him.
The court reiterated that a son was legally bound to provide maintenance to his elderly parents while upholding a revision petition filed by Narendra Sharma,a retired U P Department of Agriculture inspector. Sharma had earlier been denied interim maintenance by a magisterial court that noted that Sharma had failed to prove in the court that he was unable to maintain himself.
The metropolitan magistrate had noted that Sharma was leading a comfortable life,as he owned the house he was living in and he also had certain immoveable properties in his name.
Sharma,however,contended before the sessions court that he had no independent source of income and was fully dependent on his relatives for his maintenance. He also denied owing any moveable or immovable property anywhere.
After considering the arguments of both parties,Additional Sessions Judge Reena Singh upheld the revision petition,noting that there was no documentary evidence regarding the properties that Sharmas sons claimed he owned. Even if for a moment it is agreed that the revisionist has some immovable property in his name in Delhi and also owns the roof on his head,it will not tantamount to having sufficient funds at his disposal to maintain himself,for his food,clothing and medical expenses in view of his old age, the ASJ said.
The order passed by the metropolitan magistrate appears to be against the evidence on record. The revisionist has established a prima facie case and there is no documentary evidence adduced by the respondents to show that Sharma has enough means to sustain himself, the court ruled.
Noting that during arguments Sharmas sons had offered to let him live with them whenever he wanted to,the court observed that in such a case the respondents would anyway be required to incur expenditure on Sharmas maintenance,so it was not understood as to why they are opposing maintenance to their father.
The ASJ also took into account the fact that Sharmas sons were all men of means and had reliable sources of income Accepting Sharmas plea,the court has now ordered his sons to pay a sum of Rs 800 each per month towards his maintenance.
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