Senior citizens can now reclaim ‘gifted’ property from children

There is good news for those senior citizens who have been left in the lurch by their children at the dusk of their lives. For, now senior citizens can reclaim the property they 'gifted' or transferred in the name of their children if their welfare and basic needs are not being looked after.

All this without any delay. Rather than paying futile visits to the Court and awaiting outcome for several years, an aggrieved senior citizen can now approach the Deputy Commissioner and reclaim his property. And if a senior citizen is incapable to approach the Deputy Commissioner, any social organisation can do so on his behalf.

This is the unique benefit offered in the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 which was finally notified by the Chandigarh Administration last month. All properties which stand 'gifted' or transferred by the senior citizens in the name of their children after the year 2007 can now be reclaimed by them.

Till now, the only legal remedy available with aggrieved elderly was to approach a Court and claim maintenance on account of the properties given by them. After transfer, children are the 'absolute owners' of the properties and senior citizens did not have the right to reclaim them. But now with the notification of the said Act, the children will no more remain absolute owners.

As an alternative, they can also claim maintenance on the properties they had transferred in the name of their kids. The Act has two major benefits for the elderly. First, they can get the property reserved and secondly, the entire exercise of reclaiming the property will not take long. For, the Act stipulates the Deputy Commissioner to decide such cases 'expeditiously'.

As per the Act, a Deputy Commissioner has been designated as the appropriate authority to address and redress complaints and grievances of the senior citizens. All the senior citizens will have to submit is that their basic needs are not being looked after by their children. By producing relevant documents of the property they had transferred or gifted to their children, after 2007, the senior citizens can get the transfer declared void and claim back their properties.

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