Right of Senior Citizen to Exclusively Reside in Own House Must Be Viewed From Prism of Article 21: Calcutta HC

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The Calcutta High Court while holding that senior citizen’s have exclusive right to reside in their house stated that their children and children’s spouses are only licensees.

The Petition

A petition was filed by Mr. Sobhan Majumder before the Calcutta High Court on behalf of two senior citizens seeking the eviction of the son and daughter-in-law from their residence. Thereafter, the Court had issued an order on 12th July, 2021 directing the Officer-in-charge, Taherpur Police station to escort out the son and daughter-in-law from the residence of the petitioners. Thereon, the matter was listed to be heard on 23rd July, 2021.

In an earlier petition that was filed by an elderly couple before the Calcutta High Court seeking the eviction of their son and daughter-in-law on the ground that they posed risk to their life; the Court had held that “a senior citizen is entitled under Article 21 of the Constitution of India to live in peace in his own house” and the Court directed the Officer-in-charge to escort the son and the daughter-in-law from the petitioners’ house.

Submissions before the Court

The learned Advocate appearing for the State and the Officer-in-charge submitted that the order passed by the Court directing the officer to escort the son and the daughter-in-law from the petitioner’s premises had been executed. The Counsel appearing for the petitioners confirmed the same and submitted a letter issued by the Officer-in-charge confirming the eviction.

Observations of Calcutta HC

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The Court stated that children and their spouses who are living in the senior citizen’s house are ‘best licensees’ and that their licence comes to an end once the senior citizens are not comfortable with the children and their spouses. According to the Court, the two questions before them were pertaining to the availability of an alternative remedy under the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and the other one being the right of a daughter-in-law in respect to the residence that is to be provided by either her husband or the father-in-law as provided under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The Court stated that since in the present case the right of residence was not sought; hence there is no impediment in allowing exclusive residentiary rights to the senior citizens.” According to the Court, the principle of alternative remedy could also not be strictly applied in the present case as it concerned senior citizen’s.

Calcutta HC grants Exclusive Right to Reside

The Calcutta High Court granted exclusive right to reside in their house to the petitioner and disposed of the writ petition.

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