Udupi, Apr 10, 2015: Ravindranath Shanbhag, president of Human Rights Protection Foundation (HRPF), said on Tuesday that the foundation had helped one more senior citizen get back her house that was fraudulently taken from her by a relative in Mangaluru.
Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Shanbhag said that Stella D’Souza (83), who was a spinster and retired teacher, had a house at Vamanjur in Mangaluru.
Ms. D’Souza had not adopted any children. Her relative, a woman, used to visit her house under the pretext of enquiring about her welfare. During these visits, she used to persuade Ms. D’Souza to keep the land documents safe, preferably in the Sub-Registrar’s Office.
Trusting her relative, Ms. D’Souza agreed to her suggestion. Her relative took Ms. D’Souza to the Sub Registrar’s Office in Mangaluru on August 30, 2011, where the latter signed some papers, which she believed was for safe-keeping the land records. But Ms. D’Souza signed a sale deed selling the house to the relative for Rs. 3.31 lakh. “The motive appeared to be to grab the property after Ms. D’Souza’s death,” Mr. Shanbhag said.
A year later, Ms. D’Souza came to know that she had been tricked by her relative and she filed a case in the JMFC court in Mangaluru in 2013. Then she approached the HRPF here.
The HRPF took her case under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 to the court of the Sub Divisional Magistrate of Mangaluru.
The Sub Divisional Magistrate (Assistant Commissioner) ordered cancellation of the sale deed on March 9, 2015 and Ms. D’Souza got back her house, Mr. Shanbhag said.
Relook at the Act
He said that as per the Act, a case should be disposed in 90 days. But in this case, it took six months as Assistant Commissioner was busy. Besides, the Assistant Commissioner gave every opportunity to the relative to explain her position.
“It will be better if the government amended the Act and made a provision for interim order by the Sub Divisional Magistrate. There is no provision for an interim order in the Act,” he said.
Not many people knew about the Act. The government should create awareness about the Act among the public and also officials, Mr. Shanbhag said.
Ms. D’Souza, who was present at the press meet, said that she had been tense for the last four years. “Now I am delighted at getting back my house,” she said.
Mr. Shanbhag said that the HRPF had received 392 cases of fraud performed on senior citizens either by their children or relatives from different parts of the State. Of these, 12 cases had been disposed and 45 cases had been settled out of court, he said.
Courtesy: The hindu