New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the eviction of an elderly couple from an old age home in Lucknow while noting that they were causing disturbance to their fellow inmates.
The apex court said the possession of a room of an old age home by the couple is that of a licensee permitted to enjoy the possession, but without creating any interest in the property.
A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian said the inmates in the old age home are licensees and are expected to maintain a minimum level of discipline and good behaviour and not to cause disturbance to their fellow inmates who are also senior citizens.
The top court said the administration of the old age home is at liberty to terminate the license and ask the inmate to vacate the room allotted to them if a parent is the cause of disruption of peace of other inmates.
If one parent is the cause of disruption of peace for the other 12 inmates in the old age home, the administration of the old age home is at liberty to terminate the license and ask the inmate to vacate the room allotted to them. Even if the organizers of the old age home are not able to meet the expectation or requirements of the plaintiffs, that would not confer a cause to the plaintiffs to disturb the other inmates.
As a licensee, the plaintiffs have no right to stay in the accommodation allotted which is purely an approach to a human problem faced by the people in old age. The plaintiffs have even been offered alternative accommodation as well, the bench said.
The order came on an appeal filed by Samarpan Varishtha Jan Parisar challenging the order of the Allahabad High Court which had restrained the old age home from evicting the old couple residing there.
The apex court said as a licensee, the elderly couple cannot seek an injunction to stay in the old age home unless they allow other inmates a peaceful co-existence.
Therefore, we find that the injunction granted by the High Court suffers from patent illegality. Therefore, the injunction granted by the High Court is not warranted in law. 26. The appellant shall arrange an alternative old age home for respondent nos. 1 and 2, like one offered by the Social Welfare Department.
However, we observe that it is open to the Municipal Corporation or the Social Welfare Department to examine the living conditions of the inmates in the old age home so that the inmates live in as comfortable conditions as are possible at that age, the bench said.
The apex court also directed the Uttar Pradesh State Legal Services Authority to depute a para-legal volunteer to visit the old age home at such intervals as is possible and the Member Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority to visit the old age home at least once a month initially to find out the difficulties being faced by the inmates and to take redressal steps.
The bench said that it is an unfortunate situation when the parents cannot be taken care of by the children, but the fact remains that abandonment of parents by their children is now a hard fact of life.
Parents do find it difficult to reconcile the situation that at that age they have to stay in an old age home. Therefore, one can understand the mental trauma which the parents face in the evening of their life but the agony suffered by a parent cannot be a cause of disturbance to the other inmates or to the organizers who have resolved to take care and run the old age home, the bench said.