Taking serious note of the harassment faced by senior citizens at the hands of their own children, the Bombay High Court refused to quash a tribunal's order evicting singer Shweta Shetty from the south Mumbai residence of her 95-year-old father for ill-treating him.
A division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Madhav Jamdar, on November 25, said till the father is alive, the singer has no right to claim share in his property.
"Shweta demands her share. What is her 'share' while he is alive? She has none. He (father) may indeed give his flat and all wealth away inter vivos. That is his choice. She cannot prevent him from doing so. So long as he is alive, Shweta has no 'share' in his property," the order, which was made available on Monday, said.
The court, in its order, noted that in its experience in Mumbai and particularly amongst the wealthy of this city, senior citizens and elderly parents were subjected to all kinds of harassment and deprivation in their twilight years.
"In case after case, we have complaints from senior citizens that their own sons and daughters are harassing them. In every case, the harassment is an attempt to somehow grab the senior citizen's property in his or her lifetime without a thought spared to the mental or physical health, well-being or happiness of these seniors," the court said.
The present case was no different and the petitioner's father has repeatedly said he did not want his daughter Shweta in his house, the order further said.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by Shweta Shetty challenging a November, 2020 order of the Welfare Tribunal and Deputy Collector of Mumbai evicting her from her father Mahalaba Shetty's south Mumbai flat.
The eviction order was passed on a complaint filed by Shetty's 95-year-old father claiming he does not want his daughter Shweta Shetty to remain, occupy or reside in his south Mumbai flat as she was allegedly harassing and ill-treating him.
It claimed Shweta Shetty had been living with her father since 2015 and was badgering him for her share of the property.
Shweta Shetty's counsel, Pradeep Thorat, had argued the tribunal does not have the powers to issue eviction orders and can only entertain maintenance applications.
Mahalaba Shetty's advocate, Sujay Kantawala, had argued the property in question was self-acquired and, hence, the owner can deal with or dispose it of in any way he or she pleases.
"Even if this person has a child, he or she has no legal right to interfere with this right of the owner," Kantawala had said.
The bench refused to interfere with the tribunal's order and directed Shweta Shetty to remove her personal belongings from the said flat on November 27 and prohibited her from entering the flat in future.
Photograph: Shweta Shetty/Twitter