Parents can’t cancel settlement deed, says HC

The court made it clear that for cancelling the deed, the parents should have made it as a condition at the time of executing the settlement deed.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has held that parents who executed a settlement deed in favour of their son/daughter cannot cancel the same on the ground that the children are not taking care of the father and mother. The court made it clear that for cancelling the deed, the parents should have made it as a condition at the time of executing the settlement deed.

“The second respondent/mother has not imposed any condition in the settlement deed executed by her in favour of the petitioner, who is her son that he will have to provide basic amenities and physical needs to her. When no such condition has been imposed and when the second respondent has failed to establish fraud or coercion or undue influence against the petitioner, the settlement deed of the year 2016 executed in favour of the petitioner cannot be declared void,” Justice Abdul Qudhdhose held.

The judge passed the order on disposing of a petition filed by C Mariya Pragasam, a resident of Ariyalur district. The petitioner prayed for a direction to quash the order of the Ariyalur District Collector in 2021 cancelling the sale deed executed in favour of him by his mother Chinnammal.

According to the petitioner, the Collector had passed an order under Section 23 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Citizens Act, 2007 to set aside the settlement deed executed in favour of him by his mother since his mother said that the petitioner failed to look after her. Earlier, the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) had rejected the plea of the petitioner’s mother to cancel the settlement deed. “Section 23 cannot be invoked in this matter as there was no condition imposed upon me under the settlement deed,” the petitioner said.

The court further ordered that without any evidence to establish that the petitioner had committed fraud in obtaining a settlement deed in his favour, the Collector has passed the impugned order ordering for cancellation of the settlement deed, which is unsustainable in law.

As the petitioner’s counsel informed the court that his client is providing Rs 2,000 per month as monthly maintenance to his mother, the court said, “This court deems fit to fix the monthly maintenance payable by the petitioner to his mother at Rs 5,000,” the judge noted. The court also granted liberty to the petitioner’s mother to approach a civil court challenging the RDO’s order dismissing her request to cancel the settlement deed.

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