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Home hope after 3 years

- Relief for 86-year-old, court watch on accused couple

A retired headmistress from Balurghat, who was allegedly thrown out of the house by her nephew and his wife in 2010, is set to get back home after the subdivisional maintenance tribunal ordered her relatives to rehabilitate her with “due dignity and comfort”.

The 86-year-old woman had moved the court after her only nephew and his wife allegedly tortured her and drove her out of the house located in Dipalinagar in Balurghat.

Anima Roy had also sought the cancellation of a gift deed under which she had transferred her property worth around Rs 1 crore to her nephew and his wife on condition that he would take care of her.

The octogenarian had retired as the headmistress of Balurghat Girls’ High School.

She did not get married and brought up her brother’s son, Saumya Roy, in her two-storey house in Balurghat. The building was on a 12 cottah plot.

In 2010, Saumya got married to Parinita Singharoy, one of Anima’s students and the couple started staying with her. On September 2, 2010, Anima made a conditional gift deed for Saumya and Parinita transferring all her property worth around Rs 1 crore to the couple.

“But after the deed was handed over to the couple, they started torturing the woman. Anima sought help from the then police superintendent of South Dinajpur. But no step was taken. Towards the end of 2010, the couple drove her away from the house after beating her up mercilessly,” said Shibotosh Chatterjee, Anima’s lawyer.

Anima’s nephew Saumya works with a private firm in Gujarat and has no children.

“With the help of some local people, Anima reached Dum Dum in Calcutta and started staying with her younger sister there,” the lawyer added.

On March 1, 2013, Anima returned to Balurghat and filed a case at the maintenance tribunal under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, alleging torture by Saumya and his wife, and sought a termination of the deed.

She had stayed in a hotel during her visit. The court ordered the joint block development officer of Hili to conduct an investigation.

On January 3, Sudip Mukherjee, the judge of the tribunal, ordered that Anima should be taken back to her house “with due dignity and comfort within two weeks”.

The order has asked her relatives to take care of “all the amenities and physical needs (seba-yatna) as she deserves”. The court has also instructed a lawyer to monitor the situation and send weekly reports for six months adding that if the accused people fail to abide by the orders, the gift deed would be terminated.

Sources said Anima was still in Dum Dum in Calcutta and may return to her house soon.

“We are happy that the petitioner has got justice. We are hopeful that after the order, other people who behave in an inhuman manner and torture elderly people would also be afraid,” Anima’s lawyer said.