70-year-old Girijakka Loses Property for No-Fault of Hers!

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70-year-old Girijakka Loses Property for No-Fault of Hers!

Udupi: A 70-year-old woman approached the Human Rights Protection Foundation to get back her property.

Speaking at a press meet on December 24, Human Rights Protection Foundation president Dr Ravindranath Shanbhogue said, “Girija Shettigar, aged over 70 years has rented a small room for over 6 months in Salikeri near Brahmavar in Udupi District. Presently, she has a meagre income which she gets from the household work she does. Girijakka works with great difficulty due to her ageing problems. She is a widow and the second wife of Late Parameshwara Shettigar, who was an affluent businessman during his lifetime. She is hard of hearing and ha poor eyesight”.

Her husband Late Parameshwara Shettigar was a businessman with 40 handlooms and owned property too. He married Girijakka about 45 years ago when his first wife expired. Late Shettigar had five children in his first marriage, three sons and two daughters. Girijakka had no issues of her own but brought up the stepchildren with much love and affection like they were her own.

Late Shettigar had several properties, apart from the ancestral family residence and about forty handlooms with several skilled workmen. Girijakka lived happily with comfort, peace and dignity till her husband was alive. Somewhere in 2003, through a settlement deed, the possession of the properties along with the ancestral house was given to his second son Raviraj. Immediately after the death of his father in 2007, Raviraj got possession of the land and the house.

Raviraj ventured into the business of household goods by borrowing from the Karnataka Vikasa Grameena Bank by mortgaging the residential property. Since Girijakka had a life interest in the house, Raviraj had no right to alienate the property in any way including mortgage. In spite of this specific clause in the settlement deed, Raviraj took a huge loan from Karnataka Vikasa Grameena Bank by mortgaging the house and the property. Girijakka was unaware of these transactions.

Nobody had the right to displace her from the house. Neither Raviraj nor the Bank staff took cognisance of this. Was it not the duty of the Bank Manager to bring the fact of the mortgage of the property to her knowledge and get her consent? Girijakka came to know about the loan taken by Raviraj only after she received notice from the Bank.

Raviraj could not succeed much in the business nor could repay the loan. The Bank took possession of the property in 2008 and threw Girijakka out of the house. Girijakka filed a complaint with the local Police station for throwing her out of the house. On verification of the property documents and discussion with the Bank Staff, the Police justified the action taken by the Bank. They endorsed the stand of the Bank that they had acted as per the rules.

The first son of Late Shettigar Thimmappa was a Doctor by profession in Bangalore. When he came to know that Girijakka was homeless, he took her to Bangalore and provided shelter. He too expired in June 2021. Prior to his demise, he had asked his son Varun, an Engineer, to take care of his grandmother Girijakka and to accommodate her at home. Despite his advice, Varun took Girijakka to Brahmavar and literally dropped her on the streets, after the demise of his father.

The third son of Late Shettigar, Lakshman took care of Girijakka for some time but was not providing any financial assistance or medical expenses. Later on, his whereabouts too were unknown to Girijakka. Further, the whereabouts of his wife Anasuya, working in the State Bank of Mysore too were unknown except for her mobile number.

At the moment, Girijakka has no one to take care of her, even at this old age she has to earn for her survival. Her only wish and desire are to avoid begging for survival. She has approached the Human Rights Protection Foundation for guidance and support and the Foundation is committed to getting her justice.

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