In the Matter at hand Gopal v. Deputy Commissioner sons of an elderly, ill mother filed a suit with the High Court, objecting to a directive to cover their mother’s monthly expenses of Rs. 10,000. The petitioners objected to the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner’s orders requiring them to provide their mother with a monthly payment of Rs. 5,000 a piece, later raised to Rs. 10,000. The petitioners said they couldn’t have had a worse situation in their appeal and that they had enough money to cover their maintenance obligations every month. They claimed that their mother should be invited to move in with them and that the claim lacked legitimacy because it was made only at the daughters’ request.
Analysis of Court order
The petitioners’ argument that they lack the resources to provide their mother with the sum of Rs. 10,000 was rejected by the single-judge bench of the Karnataka High Court, presided over by Justice Krishna S. Dixit. The Court ruled that sons are required by law, religion, and custom to care for their parents, especially an elderly mother. The Court stated that the petitioners’ argument is a weak defence for not caring for the elderly and ill mother, particularly since it is not their claim that they are disabled or ill. The Court further stated that if an able-bodied person is required to support his dependent wife, there is no reason why the same rule should not apply in the case of a dependent mother.
The Court addressed the petitioners’ argument that appellants cannot be in a worse situation in their appeal, noting that instances involving socio-welfare laws like the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007 do not invoke such a broad concept. The Court also cited religious texts that stipulate that sons have a moral duty to care for their parents, particularly if they are elderly and ill. The court emphasised the custom of honouring and serving one’s parents, visitors, and gurus before engaging in religious observances. The petitioners’ assertion that they lack the resources to care for their mother is a weak defence, according to the court, because it violates both the law and their faith, which they profess to follow. The petitioners claimed they lacked the necessary resources, but the court disagreed, pointing out that one of them acknowledged owning three shops and collecting rent every month, and that they had concealed their rental income from the people who issued the contested orders. Due to their responsible actions, they are ineligible for any redress under Article 227 of the Constitution’s equitable jurisdiction.
The petitioners’ offer to take care of their mother if she is told to leave her daughters’ home was rejected by the court as neither factually plausible nor legally viable. This argument is unsuitable and repugnant to Indian culture and tradition due to the mother’s precarious health, ancient age, illiteracy, and poor eyesight. No rule or decision permits hesitant parents to live with their children; rather, the law of marriage typically provides for the return of conjugal rights. The petitioners’ assertion that their mother was abandoned by their daughters was refuted by the absence of any evidence of that behaviour from the petitioners, according to the court. The Court further pointed out that Rs. 10,000 is insufficient to provide an unskilled worker with a decent wage and that more is required to keep body and spirit together.
Rejecting the petitioners’ argument that Rs. 10,000 is significantly excessive, the Court regrettably refrained from increasing the sum. In an era where bread is more expensive than blood, the court emphasised the need for more reasonable living wages and a more sustainable future.
CASE NAME – Gopal v. Deputy Commissioner, Writ Petition No. 13182 of 2022…