The mother filed a petition under Section 23 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, In December 2014 praying for the cancellation of the gift deed. She alleged that the petitioner and her husband Naveen Anand had coerced her to sign certain documents on the premise that they would ensure equal distribution of the property amongst her five daughters. She also alleged that the petitioner and her husband had assured her that they would look after her and fulfill all her basic necessities.
The Court, however, held that that the contention that the Tribunal was bound to record evidence before proceeding to adjudicate any claim under Section 23 of the Act, was unpersuasive.“The Tribunal is required to follow a summary procedure and it is not mandatory for the Tribunal to record evidence or to permit any cross-examination”, it said.
It was concluded by the Court that although proceedings under the Act are summary proceedings, the Tribunal was required to evaluate the material available on record. It held that in totality, there was little material to conclude that the mother was defrauded to execute the gift deed.
The Court added further that Section 23 of the Act provides recourse to senior citizens to avoid the transfer of their property to relatives if their needs are not met. However, in the present case, the basic needs of the mother were being met, even if not by the petitioner.
Thus, the petition was allowed and the order was set aside.