Senior Citizens Act – Maintenance & Welfare of Parents

1. Introduction

The Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act 2007 creates legal provisions for maintenance of parents and senior citizens. It casts a duty on all children and legal heirs to maintain and care for their elderlies. Which means Parents and Senior Citizens acquire the Right to be maintained by their children or legal heirs. Earlier it was only under Section 125 CrPC that parents could claim maintenance. But now this Act empowers Senior Citizens too, provided they have legal heirs to their property, who become duty bound to maintain them.

Let’s take a look at few salient features of the Act …

Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 - legal provisions for maintenance and welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens,  Maintenance Tribunals for redressal of complaints, Old Age Homes, etc.
Senior Citizens Act – Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007

2. Maintenance – Legal Right of Parents & Senior Citizens

The Act bestows legal right on every parent / senior citizen to be cared for and duly maintained by their children / legal heirs. In other words, it is the duty of every child / legal heir to adequately take care of and maintain their parents / senior citizens. The Act also makes abandonment and neglect of seniors a cognizable offence. The offender is liable to be punished with imprisonment or fine or both.

3. Maintenance Tribunals

The Act mandates creation of Maintenance Tribunals to address complaints of Parents and Senior Citizens. All states need to notify Rules under this central legislation. Delhi for instance has Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules 2009, which has been amended to serve the interest of elderlies in a bid to help them lead a secure life.

4. Appellate Tribunals

Section 15 of the Act provides for Appellate Tribunals, where Appeals against Orders of Maintenance Tribunals can be filed. Each Appellate Tribunal is headed by an officer not below the rank of District Magistrate.

Under Section 16 of the Act, any senior citizen or a parent aggrieved by an Order of the Tribunal may, within 60 days from the date of the order, prefer an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal.

5. Maintenance Officer

Section 18 of the Act specifies that each state shall designate the District Social Welfare Officer as Maintenance Officer. Since parties are NOT allowed to be represented by a legal practitioner (Advocate), the law provides that the Maintenance Officer of the District shall represent the Senior Citizen / Parent (if desired) during the proceedings at the Tribunal or Appellate Tribunal, as the case may be.

6. Old Age Homes

Section 19 of the Act mandates that every state government should provide for atleast one Old Age Home in each district with a minimum capacity to accomodate 150 indigent senior citizens. Indigent means ‘any senior citizen who does not have sufficient means to maintain themselves’.

7. Download – Senior Citizens Act

7.1 The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007


7.2 The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007  (Hindi)

8. Amendment

A Draft Bill on proposed amendments in The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 is pending in Parliament for approval. This Bill when approved will further amend the Seniors Act to bring more stringency in provisions for welfare of elderlies.

9. Know more

Comments

One response to “Senior Citizens Act – Maintenance & Welfare of Parents”

  1. Cmde S, Swaminathan (retd)

    There are a few hundred old age/ senior citizen/retirement homes in Palakkad and coimbatore area. I have personally visited, checked out over 20 of them
    All of them, have various twists and nuances to their versions of rules, ownership and standards of construction, maintenance and running of these institutions. We the elderly, feel that the various provisions, undertakings and practices, are very one sided, in favour of the management, with little safety of performance towards the residents.
    Are there any standards laid down, to protect the seniors from unfair legal provisos, and ensure ease of living, once they join any such establishment?
    Who is the nodal agency?

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