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Trending: Call for Papers Volume 3 | Issue 2: International Journal of Advanced Legal Research [ISSN: 2582-7340]

Maintenance And Welfare Of Parents And Senior Citizens Act 2007

Introduction

Every person is born by nature and every person dies by nature. Once the person is born he/she starts to grow as a child and ends up ageing as a person. It is a normal and natural process  that every person passes through. 

When a person becomes aged, he/she will start to suffer from illness and lose his physical and mental ability and they are loved by their heirs /offspring until the transfer of their property and after that they are abandoned by their own family members. Thus, they need a special care and protection to support their financial needs if they aren’t in a good position and to lead a normal and dignified life. Therefore ,The Ministry of Social  Justice and Empowerment, introduced the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007. Thereafter, it was passed in the Parliament of India, and it received the President’s assent on Dec 29, 2007.Here are a few measures to take care of their rights and property.

DEFINITION:

 In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

§  “children” includes son, daughter, grandson and granddaughter but does not include minor because under the provisions of Majority Act,1875 is deemed that he is not attained the group of majority.

§  “parent” includes father, mother, whether adoptive or step father or step mother.

§  “property” means any kind of property such as, movable or immovable, ancestral or self-acquired, tangible or intangible and includes rights or interests in such property.

§  “relative” means any legal heir of the childless senior citizen who is not a minor and is in possession of or would inherit their property after the death.[1]

UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS AND IMPORTANCE OF THE ACT:

 India is a formation of nation with Language, Culture and Unity. The senior citizens are referred as a backbone of the nation which instigate as to lead a dignity life.    

 In the case of , Senior Citizen Welfare Organization &another v. State of Uttarakhand & Anr, Held that the High Court of Uttarakhand viewed the failure of the adequate of the old age homes in the state. The Petitioner in this case contended that the lack of homes in a state it alleged and sec 19 of the Act to provide homes at least one in each district to accommodate 150 senior citizens who are helpless. However, the Respondent state has provided only two homes. The court held that the Respondent state should establish old age homes instead of relying upon the NGO’s or society. It is the duty of the state government to provide beds, a decency life and liberty to senior citizens and also to provide the facility for treatment of degenerated diseases because every citizens has a fundamental right to live with dignity.[2] 

They also support, cared and  loved us as to be a man in the society. Later on they are mistreated by one or more family members because of their property or to lead a free life. An adult children or grand children both male and female are legally bound to protect their parents and grandparents even though the same protection can also be claimed by step-parents or adoptive parents. For the issue of maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens an Tribunal court was set up in every district. According to Tribunal Court if any children or grand-children failed to provide the basic amenities the aggrieved parents or senior citizens may move to the court to sought relief.

   Cases should be finalised within 60 to 90 days and Rs10,000  should be granted for their monthly allowances to lead a normal life. If any senior citizens who do not have any children or grandchildren can claim maintenance from the relatives who is either possessing their property or will inherit their property after the death of the senior citizens. Once an order is passed by the Maintenance Tribunal, a copy of an order should be given in free of cost and if the court order to pay a sum of rupees for other person they are bound to pay within 30 days of the announcement from the court and to file an application for maintenance to be filed before the Maintenance Tribunal in any district where,

    the parent ,grandparent or senior citizen resides, or

    the parent, grandparent or senior citizen has last resided, or

    the person against whom maintenance is claimed resides. 

Ø  Responsibility of the State Government:

     According to sec 20 of the Act, the  State Government must ensure that all government hospital partly or fully funded by the government must provide a separate queue in a bill section and provide separate rooms along with beds and in all factors for senior citizens.

Ø  Old Age Homes:

  According to sec 19 of the Act, it mandates the state government to set up an old ages homes in every district for the protection of their life as well as their property. More than 58 crore rupees was released from the government to support the homes since 2013-2014 and more than 21000 beneficiaries were  supported 900 homes in various states.[3]

ABANDONMENT OR ABUSE OF PARENTS/ SENIOR CITIZEN

  The definition of “children” has now also include daughter-in-law and son-in-law which means they are also duty bound to provide maintenance for their in-laws and a relative of a childless citizens would be held liable for their care. The government has introduced an amendment which bar the children or relative to sell the gift property from their parents without the consideration. The maintenance amount of Rs10,000  was felt like that would sufficient in rural or small areas not in bigger cities. If a person refuse to pay the said amount he/she shall be punished with imprisonment till the amount is paid and if he/she abandons the parents or senior citizen, shall be punishment with three months of imprisonment or extend upto six months or with fine up to Rs10000 or with both and has been made harsher.[4] The government has established a nodal officers for senior citizens in every police station or district level to hear their grievances. If any abuse were happen against senior citizens as they are allotted with a dedicated helpline number to reach them in every state. The definition of “maintenance “ has been extended to include the safety and security of parents or grand parents besides taking care of their food ,housing and other legal obligations. If any person intentionally abuse or refuse to care of such parents or senior citizens shall be  punished with above said punishment. Here the word “abuse” means any physical, verbal, emotional and economic abuse.[5]

SENIOR CITIZEN OR PARENT HAS A RIGHT TO EVICT THEIR CHILD:

 Senior citizens or parents has a full right to evict their children in order to protect their property and rights. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana ruled that “ Eviction is one of the right to secure the property of a senior citizens”. Once a senior citizens make a complaint against their family members to vacate from the said premises such proceedings will ensure benefits only to the senior citizens and not to the children. But this effective provisions for the protection will not reside with the senior citizens unless the court has a power to put the property in their possession or eject the person who wishes to interfere in the property of senior citizens and adding to the provisions that ,if he/she enjoys the goodwill of the parents can remain to stay with the property of the senior citizens.[6]

 The  Honourable High Court of Punjab and Haryana in the case titled as Justice Shanti Sarup Dewan, Cj ( Retd.) and Anr V. Union Territory, Chandigarh, held that the children can reside with the property along with the permission of their parents but once the permissions are dropped from the children they have to vacate from the said premises to leave their parents to have a peaceful life and the senior citizens who are been refused or abused intentionally by their children for the property, they have a right to evict their children under the Special Legislation i.e., Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act ,2007.[7]

 The Kerala court consider that ordering in favour of senior citizens doesn’t means to evict others. The petition was filed by Seethamma Panicker ,67 aged women, seeking protection against her two-sons and daughter-in-law to reside in same building and an order passed in favour of the mother by Revenue Divisional Officer(RDO). Despite this, the daughter-in-law framed an false allegations contending that her mother-in-law is the one who creating disharmony. Further, she also states that she and her two-sons neither restraint or create any harm to the aged women. A divisional bench comprising of Cj Ashok Bhushan and Justice A M Shaffique , observed and held that, the contention made in the police report was a illegal and false allegations made against to the aged women. Therefore, the aged women cannot demand to reside alone in the building. She also has a right to reside in the said premises and the daughter-in-law and her two-sons has no right to do anything against her instead of permitting her to reside in the said building.[8]

CONCLUSION:

        ‘Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been’- Mark Twain[9]

 It is clearly evident from the above mentioned statements that if he/she is unable to protect themselves, then their children or in-laws are legally bound to pay attention towards the aged people even if they are adoptive parents or in case of childless senior citizens, relatives who are going to inherit their property have the obligation to protect them in order to lead a dignified life. The act also mentioned that if  the aged people were unable to approach the Hon’ble Court then they can authorise someone else or an organisation to make an application on their behalf. This special legislation ensures the rights of parents and senior citizens and the judgements are given to them in a quicker and speedy manner and to claim maintenance- the better way is available under the above mentioned act instead of relying with other personal law.

 

 

         This blog is authored by -Jannathul Fathima.I

 


 

 


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