The Bombay High Court ruled that the son has no enforceable right in his parents property during their lifetime.
The Petitioner, Sonia Fazal Khan, is the wife of one Fazal Khan. Petitioners Naeema and Tasneem, are Sonia’s and Fazal’s married daughters. The Petition says that for the last decade Fazal has been living in a vegetative state. He not only has dementia but has had multiple strokes. There are other complications. The prayer in the Petition is to appoint his wife, Sonia, the 1st Petitioner as the guardian of the Fazal’s personal and property.
The division bench of Justice Madhav J. Jamdar and Justice G. S. Patel noted that there are some indications in the Disabilities Act and in similar statutes but a comprehensive statute dealing with these situations and allowing pro-tem guardianship is not yet in place.
The court said that the suggestion that Asif has a settled and enforceable share in either of the flats in the lifetimes of the real owners, his parents, is laughable. The fact that he is their son does not make either of their flats ‘a shared household’.
The court did not see how Asif can complain of domestic violence when he is demonstrably not part of the domestic set-up to begin with.
The court rejected Asif’s application for intervention and said that the submission alone shows Asif’s true nature, his utterly heartless and avaricious approach.
The court permitted the Petitioner Sonia Fazal Khan to operate the Saraswat Cooperative Bank account mentioned. It stands in the joint name of Fazal Akbar Khan and Sonia Fazal Khan. She may draw on the amounts in this account to meet all and any of Fazal’s expenses.
The court added that she is not permitted to use any of these amounts for her own personal purposes nor to transfer these amounts to her own account. She is required to maintain accounts including receipts of all payments made from this account whether by cheque, transfer or against cash withdrawals. Once a year, Sonia is required to file a statement of account regarding the drawls from the account.
The court permitted Sonia to open negotiations for any prospective purchaser and to conclude negotiations arriving at a price and on terms but not to execute either an MoU or an agreement for sale of the immovable property without prior leave of the Court.
The court stated that there is no specific statute in this regard, it put the case of Fazal practically on the same footing as that of a minor who holds a share in immovable property. This necessarily means that Fazal’s interests are under the care and supervision of the Court and any disposal of his share in any immovable property must be for stated and bona fide purposes that are demonstrably in his interest.
The court further stated that it is for this reason that it finds itself unable to grant an open-ended permission in cases like this. This is however not to be construed as a rejection of what Sonia seeks but only a direction by way of caution and circumspection so that there is no cause of complaint at a later stage.
Case title: Sonia Fazal Khan & Ors v/s Union of India & Ors
Citation: WRIT PETITION (L) NO. 12047 OF 2021
Tags- son, wife, daughter, family law, jurishour, law,