“To care for those who once cared for us is highest of the honors one can have.”
PARENT CARE – INDIAN CULTURE vs. ACTUAL SITUATION?
This Indian tradition of Joint Family teaches us that the senior citizens of family shall always be respected, loved and consulted by their children. However, with the change in living standards of society, the respect for elders is losing its importance. The modernization and globalization has made life of youngsters so occupied that the generation gap is increasing, making them feel their old age parents like a burden in their life.
At present, the problems faced by senior citizens are humiliation, discrimination, abuse, isolation and lacking financial, medical or emotional support due to the change in the value system, temptation towards western ways of life and moving away from parents for better opportunities in career.
Is there any legal remedy??
SECTION 125 OF THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, 1973 (CrPC)
Where parents are unable to maintain themselves, can claim maintenance under this act by filing a criminal complaint against their Children. Court can order to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of parents, at such monthly rate not exceeding five hundred rupees in the whole, as such Court thinks fit, and to pay the same to such person as the court may from time to time direct.
The maintenance under this usually takes a longer period of time for the settlement which is why the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 was brought into action for the speedy trial of the cases related to maintenance of parents/senior citizens. The Criminal Procedure code, 1974 protects the Right for Maintenance of Parents under Section 125, which means Parents can also claim Maintenance under CrPC, 1974 but CANNOT UNDER BOTH.
Is there any alternate legal remedy?
MAINTENANCE AND WELFARE OF PARENTS AND SENIOR CITIZENS ACT, 2007:
An Act to provide for more effective provisions for the maintenance and welfare of “parents” and “senior citizens” guaranteed and recognized under the Constitution and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Parents and senior citizens who are unable to fulfill their basic necessities due to their old age and/or their children neglecting them and not providing them with the maintenance to live their life normally can claim such rights under this Act through maintenance tribunal formed by every State under this Act. Wherein, basic necessities include food, clothing, shelter and medical expenses.
If a senior citizen after the commencement of this Act, has transferred his property either moveable or immovable, by way of gift or otherwise, subject to the condition that the transferee shall provide him basic amenities and physical needs and thereafter such transferee refuses or fails to provide such promise, such transfer of property shall be deemed to have been made by fraud, coercion or undue influence and the Tribunal can declare such transfer as void.
SENIOR CITIZEN CELL:
This cell was formed by Delhi Police in 2004 with a special helpline no. for senior citizens i.e. 1291 or 100.It was formed with various objectives such as:
- Coordinate safety & security of Senior Citizens with the help of Area Police.
- Monitoring of registered Senior Citizens by interacting on Telephone on regular basis.
- Helping the Senior Citizens in case of their personal problems.
- Regular advice on induction of Security & Safety measures required in the physical ambiance and life style of Senior Citizens.
- Encouraging regular social interaction of Senior Citizens in the neighborhood.
- Coordinating Police verification of domestic help by Area Police.
THE MAINTENANCE AND WELFARE OF PARENTS AND SENIOR CITIZENS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2019
As per the current status: Bill is pending with LokSabha, where it was introduced on 11/12/2019.
If we get little into the bill it brings step-children, adoptive children, children-in-law, and legal guardians of minor children under the definition of children who are liable to pay to their parents. Moreover, the Maintenance Tribunals may direct children to pay a maximum of Rs 10,000 per month as maintenance amount to their parents in addition it removes the upper limit on the maintenance fee to be provided to suffering parent.
Failure to pay such fine may lead to imprisonment of up to one month, or until the payment is made. And for keeping the benefit of the suffering parents in view the bill provides for the regulation of private care-homes for senior citizens, and institutions providing home-care services.
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Advocate Sahajpreet Singh
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