Sudesh Chhikara Vs. Ramti Devi & Anr.

Case Number: Civil Appeal No. 174 of 2021
Judges Name: Hon’ble Judges Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Abhay S. Oka
Order dated: December 06, 2022


Facts of the case:

  1. Respondent 1 purchased a piece of land that is 1 bigha and 18 biswa. Additionally, she purchased a plot of property in Village Basai, Gurugram, Haryana, totaling 5 bighas and 3 biswas. She stated that her father had left the possession to her as an inheritance. In favor of her daughters, respondent 1 signed a release deed pertaining to a portion of the subject property. The aforementioned release deed was signed on November 14th, 2008, and properly registered. 
  2. According to the aforementioned release deed, the daughters acquired a one-third portion in the property that was the subject of the release deed. Respondent 1 executed a second release deed in respect of her son Sunder’s one-fourth interest in the lands. On the same day, respondent no. 1 also signed a release deed in favor of her son for his interest in the other half of the lands. The release deeds were both recorded. This was contested by the appellant, respondent 1, and the mother of the second respondent, and the deed was ruled invalid. 
  3. A similar judgement was rendered in a civil matter that was brought for the same relief with regard to another release document. While Sunder and Manish’s appeal was pending, it was sold. According to Respondent 1, who filed a petition under Section 23 of the 2007 Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, her son and daughters are not providing for her, and she wants to revoke the aforementioned release deed. The tribunal revoked the deed, and this was contested before the HC, where the tribunal’s order was upheld and the current appeal resulted.

Supreme Court observed/held as follows:

  • The Appellant Contended that Section 23 components were not made clear. The Maintenance Tribunal utterly disregarded the appellant, a widow who was not staying with Respondent No. 1. It was that respondent no. 1 filed the petition pursuant to Section 23 at her son’s request. The appellant and her sister were co-plaintiffs in all civil lawsuits brought by respondent number 1. 
  • The Responded Contended that the property obtained by the appellant and her sister under the release deed was sold by them to one Shri Anil Gahlot. Even the said purchaser has submitted an affidavit to the Tribunal in which he states that he has no objections to the relief requested by respondent no. 1 being granted. Respondent No. 1 filed an affidavit indicating unequivocally that she will neither release or transfer any property by way of gift to her son or daughter, as indicated by the Maintenance Tribunal. This demonstrates that respondent number one’s mother has not acted at her son’s request. After conducting a thorough investigation, the Tribunal ruled in favour of respondent No. 1, who is over 80 years old. 
  • Section 23 of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 was also discussed by the court. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate acting as the Maintenance Tribunal under the 2007 Act has invoked the power Under Section 23 to declare that the subject release deed was void. The order of the Maintenance Tribunal cannot be sustained as the twin conditions incorporated in Sub-section (1) of Section 23 were not satisfied. Unfortunately, the High Court has not adverted to the merits of the case at all. 
  • The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and the impugned order passed by the Maintenance Tribunal as well as the order passed by the High Court were hereby set aside, dismissing the petition filed by respondent 1 under section 23 of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007.

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