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Pritish Natvar Sanghi, the son, had petitioned the High Court of Judicature at Bombay challenging the order of the SDO whereby the SDO declared transfer of 50% share by the Respondent No.1, the father, to the petitioner in respect of his flat, at Brooklyn Hills Co-operative Housing Society, as illegal.

The case of Pritish Natvar Sanghi v. Natvar Keshavlal Sanghvi and Anr. was decided by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay on 4th June, 2018, upholding the order of the SDO.

The Petitioner’s mother, Respondent No. 1’s wife, died in 2014. Subsequently, the Respondent No. 1 remarried. To this, the Petitioner and his wife desired that 50% share in the property of Respondent No. 1 be transferred in their name. The Respondent No. 1, to maintain peace in the family, made a gift deed on 23rd May, 2014 in favour of the Petitioner transferring 50% share in the property of Respondent No. 1.

The Respondent No. 1 alleged that after the transfer was made in favour of the Petitioner, the Petitioner and his wife started ill-treating the second wife of the Respondent No. 1. As a result, the Respondent No. 1 and his second wife were compelled to live separately in a rented accommodation.

The Respondent No. 1 moved the SDO under sections 5 and 23 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 (hereinafter the “Act”) for maintenance and declaration of the gift deed as void.

Clause (1) of Section 23 of the Act states that where any senior citizen who, after the commencement of this Act, has transferred by way of gift or otherwise, his property, subject to the condition that the transferee shall provide the basic amenities and basic physical needs to the transferor and such transferee refuses or fails to provide such amenities and physical needs, the said transfer of property shall be deemed to have been made by fraud or coercion or under undue influence and shall at the option of the transferor be declared void by the Tribunal.

The Petitioner, before the SDO, took the stand that he is willing to let the Respondent No. 1 stay with him in the flat but not his step-mother. Consequently, the SDO revoked the gift deed in favor of the Petitioner, after which the Petitioner moved the High Court of Judicature at Bombay.

The High Court of Judicature at Bombay held that since the gift deed was made at the request of the Petitioner and his wife, they were under an obligation to not mistreat the Respondent No. 1 and his wife after the transfer of 50% share in the property. The High Court while holding that it was incumbent upon both the Petitioner and the wife to look after the Respondent No. 1 and his second wife, upheld the order of the SDO, finding no error in the same and dismissed the petition.

 

Surabhi Aggarwal

Senior Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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