Senior Citizens Act and Property Title Disputes

Whether proceedings under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 can be used to decide title disputes?

Recently, vide judgement dated 14th October, 2022 in Pawan Kumar and Anr. v. Divisional Commissioner Department of Revenue, Govt of Delhi and Others in LPA 525/2022, the Delhi High Court held as under:

“9. As rightly pointed out by the authorities below and by the learned Single Judge of this Court the exercise under the Senior Citizens Act is not to ascertain the title of the property in question. The enquiry is limited to see as to whether the senior citizen is being harassed by his children or not and if the senior citizen is harassed then for his/her welfare it is necessary that the children/legal heirs are asked to evict the property. The proceedings which are summary in nature are not to decide the title of the property. In view of the above, the principle contention of the Appellants herein that the Respondent No.2 is not the owner of the property in question is insignificant. Any right which the Appellants want to establish has to be established under the Civil Code by filing a suit before the Civil Court.

10. This Court, at this moment, is not going into the question as to whether the Senior Citizens Act provides for over-riding a decree or a finding of the Civil Court regarding the title of the property. The Appellants have not been able to show any semblance of right, title or interest superior to that of Respondent No.2 over the property in question and in absence of any such assertion, the Orders of the authorities below and the learned Single Judge of this Court cannot be found fault with.

12. In view of the above, this Court in not inclined to interfere with the findings of the learned Single Judge that for peaceful existence of the Respondent No.2, who is fearing for his life, it is necessary for the Appellants herein, who have not been able to prove any right superior to the right of the Respondent No.2 on the property in question, to evict the premises. The findings arrived at by the learned Single Judge are in consonance with the Senior Citizens Act which has been brought for the welfare of the senior citizens. Going into the nature of right/title/interest of the parties in the property in question, at this juncture, would be counterproductive for the objectives of the Senior Citizens Act. Any right/title/interest in the property in question can be established by the Appellants herein only through proper proceedings and by adducing evidence in a Suit before the Civil Court.”

Delhi High Court
Pawan Kumar & Anr. vs. Divisional Commissioner Deptt of Revenue, Govt of Delhi & Ors, LPA 525/2022