It is not uncommon for parents to expect their married children—or even pressurize them—to have kids of their own. However, in a bizarre case of disgruntlement over these expectations not being met, an Indian couple has sued their son and daughter-in-law for not giving them grandchildren despite being married for over five years.
Sanjeev Ranjan Prasad, 61, and his wife Sadhana Prasad, 57, are seeking Rs. 5 crores (US $650,000) from their son and their daughter-in-law on grounds of "mental harassment" following their "failure" to give them grandchildren. The parents stated that they spent the sought sum on their son's "education and upbringing".
Prasad, a retired senior officer of BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), an Indian government-owned engineering company, told a news outlet: "We got him married in the hope we would have the pleasure of becoming grandparents. It has been six years since their marriage. It feels as if despite having everything we have nothing."
Suing for "Mental Harassment"
According to the Times of India (TOI), Prasad stated that he sent his son to the US in 2006 to pursue a pilot training course and spent Rs. 50 lakhs (US $65,000) for it. He also added that when his son returned to India in 2007 on account of the global economic recession, he provided for him financially.
"He had lost his job and could not find another for over two years. I supported him financially during this period as well," said the 61-year-old. Prasad also mentioned that as his wife was in poor health, they got their son married in 2016. They hoped that this would give them "a grandchild to play with" in their old age.
The son and his wife reside in different cities, which the aged couple claims is causing them "immense pain." Prasad told TOI: We treated our daughter-in-law like our own daughter. Despite that, she seldom stays with us, adding to our sufferings. We even told her that if she is worried about taking care of the child due to her job, she could give the baby to us so that we could look after his upbringing."
Parents Issue 'Ultimatum'
As part of their petition, Prasad and his wife have issued their son and daughter-in-law an ultimatum, the Associated Press (AP) reported. "We want a grandson or a granddaughter within a year or compensation, because I have spent my life's earnings on my son's education," the retired government employee declared.
The petition filed by the parents was accepted by the court on 14 May 2022 and is scheduled for a hearing in Haridwar, a city in the Indian state of Uttarkhand, according to AP News. Arvind Srivastava, the counsel for the parents, said that this was a "first-of-its-kind" case in Uttarakhand, and probably in the country itself.
He told TOI: "From the parents' point of view, their demand is justified. Their expectations are not wrong. On the day of the hearing, as per the legal procedure, a report on the case would be asked for from the probation officer, following which a notice will be served to the couple's son and daughter-in-law, seeking their reply before the court."