Read Order: Rani v. Additional District Magistrate and Another 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 17, 2022:  While adjudicating upon a challenge to the order of the Additional District Magistrate passed in response to a maintenance petition filed by a woman (claiming to be a senior citizen) under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act, 2007 , the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the Maintenance Tribunal should not have invoked its jurisdiction under the Act as the woman was less than 58 years on the date of instituting proceedings before the Tribunal.

While reaching a conclusion (upon perusing the relevant documents of the woman) that the age of the woman was less than 58 years, the Bench of Justice Arun Monga held, “In the premise, on that short ground alone, the Tribunal could not have invoked the jurisdiction of Maintenance Tribunal under the Act, as respondent No.2 herein was less than 58 years not a senior citizen on the relevant date.”

In the instant case, the Court was dealing with a petition for issuance of a writ in the nature of certiorari to set aside the order (impugned) passed by the Additional District Magistrate (the first respondent) whereby the application filed by the second respondent under the Act was allowed and the petitioner was directed to vacate the property of the second respondent in a time-bound manner. 

The Court at the very outset perused the second respondent’s Ration Card, the Aadhar Card as also an earlier petition filed in the court by the second respondent, to conclude that the second respondent of her own volition, stated her age to be less than 58 years as on the date of instituting proceedings before the Maintenance Tribunal vide petition dated September 04, 2020. 

On the premise, on that short ground alone, the Court held the Tribunal could not have invoked its jurisdiction under the Act as the second was less than 58 years and was thus not a senior citizen on the relevant date. 

Therefore, the impugned Order was quashed for lack of jurisdiction and the Writ Petition was accordingly allowed.

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