The Delhi High Court on Friday gave a very important decision which will affect the safety of senior citizens in the country. The Delhi High court said in its 11 page decision that a woman will not have the right to stay at the property of her in-laws if she mistreats them. The court was overhearing a plea of a woman who was contesting an attempt of eviction from her in-laws. The court dismissed the plea of the woman who had allegedly used physical violence against her in-laws and used to torture them on a regular basis. It is noteworthy that the Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Rules, 2016 give the senior citizens the right to seek eviction of their son, daughter or their legal heirs on account of ill-treatment but exclude the daughter-in-law. Indian society too in general suffers from the cycle vs car syndrome, in case a collision occurs between the car and a cycle, the big car is automatically termed as the perpetrator while the cycle stays as the by-default victim. The same phenomenon applies to any case where a female gets the chance to play the victim card.
There have been numerous instances in the past where women have falsely raised the rape allegations against a person to defame him or to settle personal scores. Widespread misuse of the Section 498A which gives the woman right to file a case against her husband or his relatives for harassment of married women too has been seen many a times. The Supreme Court had issued new guidelines to prevent the misuse of Section 498A in July 2017. The guidelines issued by the Supreme Court disallowed immediate arrest of the accused until investigation had been carried out to seek authenticity of the claims.
The Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Rules, 2016 too is biased towards married women as they are the only ones who cannot be evicted as per the rules. The court said, “It is difficult to accept that although a senior citizen is entitled to evict his/her son who is maltreating him, he/she has no option but to suffer the ill-treatment at the hands of his/her daughter-in-law,” thereby dismissing the plea of the woman Darshna who had challenged the order of a district magistrate to vacate the first floor of the house of her in-laws.
The in-laws in question, Dhani Ram and his wife showed CCTV footage which showed Darshana assaulting them. Medical records were further shown by them which proved that they had been physically assaulted by their daughter-in-law. Dhani Ram’s son had already moved out of their house and had been living separately for the past few months. Darshna however, refused to move out of the house and would subject her in-laws to physical violence. The old couple had to lock themselves in a room to safeguard themselves from the wrath of their daughter-in-law. The district magistrate had already referred the matter to the sub-divisional magistrate of Karol Bagh for verification, the report pointed out that Darshna used to fight with her in-laws. Dismissing Darshna’s plea is a praiseworthy decision by the Delhi court which proves that a woman cannot always play the victim card to get away from her sins. Calling a spade a spade should never be a problem anyways, no matter whether the accused is a woman or a man. The decision of the Delhi court is a step forward in this regard.
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