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

Read the LATEST updated version of this post .

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS

Traditional norms and values of the Indian society laid stress on providing care for the elderly. However, due to withering of the joint family system, a large number of elderly are not being looked after by their family. Consequently, many older persons, particularly widowed women are now forced to spend their twilight years all alone and are exposed to emotional neglect and to lack of physical and financial support. This clearly reveals that ageing has become a major social challenge and there is a need to give more attention to the care and protection for the older persons. Though the parents can claim maintenance under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the procedure is both time-consuming as well as expensive. Hence, there is need to have simple, inexpensive and speedy provisions to claim maintenance for parents.

2. The Bill proposes to cast an obligation on the persons who inherit the property of their aged relatives to maintain such aged relatives and also proposes to make provisions for setting up oldage homes for providing maintenance to the indigent older persons.

    The Bill further proposes to provide better medical facilities to the senior citizens and provisions for protection of their life and property.

3. The Bill, therefore, proposes to provide for:-
(a) appropriate mechanism to be set up to provide need-based maintenance to the parents and senior citizens
(b) providing better medical facilities to senior citizens
(c) for institutionalization of a suitable mechanism for protection of life and property of older persons.
(d) setting up of oldage homes in every district.

4. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objectives.

 

pdf file:  Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 

pdf file:  [Hindi] – Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007

Difference between Bill and Act
You might have noticed that the Statement of Objects & Reasons uses the phrase ‘the Bill’ instead of ‘the Act’

Well, that is because the Statement of Objects & Reasons is prepared when the draft of proposed legislation in the form of Bill is introduced in Parliament for discussion and approval. After approval from both houses of Parliament this draft goes to the President for his assent.

Bill is actually another name for the draft of proposed legislation. It is only after obtaining President’s assent that the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

Also read:
Elder Abuse in India – a case of Human Rights violations
Old Age Homes in Delhi NCR

Related Reading:
Bill to care for senior citizens
India’s senior citizens finally get a hearing
Parliament discusses law for protecting elderly

Jail for children who abandon parents
Dump old parents, land in jail

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10 Responses

  1. It is nice to know that the Indian lawmakers are concerned about childless senior citizens. However, the recent bill has completely misunderstood their plight. Many of these people are unmarried due to financial problems, or family responsibilities in their early lives. In later years of their lives, they save so as not to be burden on anybody in their old age. People who befriend them are mostly borrowers keen on defaulting. When they ask for moneys, they are cruelly reminded –“you don’t have children, what do you need the moneys for” or similar statements. Even workplaces are no different. There is always somebody asking them to adopt their child or asking their savings for their children. Relatives take it for granted that the moneys will come to them, so they openly question, “how much are you writing to me”, for not having been there in hard times.

    Television serials highlight such nature of relatives, but law continues to presume that love and affection exists amongst all relatives, entitling them to the inheritance. There are laws against teasing widows but none to prevent teasing childless citizens. Their old age savings reflect their selfishness, rather than responsible behavior, and law seems to endorse that. People adopting a child are given a choice, but these people are forced to accept children of some colleague or relative towards whom they may have little or no affinity. Not everybody gets along with everybody. Surely, they should have a choice after having slogged throughout their lives.

    I feel the new bill will bring down the relatives on such helpless souls, and force them to part with their lifetime savings during their lifetime. This bill will make them more vulnerable to being abused, physically and verbally, and help the relatives to take away the funds by denying them food and medication. Giving a small room without adequate ventilation and care does not, after all amount to caring for elderly. They may well be able to afford additional cup of tea, which is denied to them, and may well desire to visit somebody, which is denied to them. They may have earned enough to have air-conditioned rooms, but it may be denied to them by the relatives once the bill is passed. Is such a senior citizen expected to knock the doors of law with frail health, and little money to hire lawyers in case of ill treatment?

    What about those who have already been physically abused by their relatives for money? Should they not have a fair chance to get away from this type of crowd? Could that not be the reason for them not daring to adopt and being victimized in their later lives by other people as “selfish”?

    Surely childless people should be allowed to select whom they trust as their caregivers, whether they are friends or relatives. And, the obligation should be imposed only on such friend or relative to ensure proper care. And to meet the expenses, these people should be allowed to even write away the properties that they have inherited, instead of allowing a cascade of non-caring relatives on them.

    I request people who feel similarly to respond and ensure that the relevant amendments are made to the bill.

  2. having read the articles and interviews only once i read about false case of dowry and such attempts make the poor seniors get arrested. why not the law be stringent against the daughters in law of the family and her parents who indulge i n harassing the son of the family who becomes a victim and he is silent for running the family on peaceful lines. why not law insist on evidance before arresting the seno\ior citizens. same is the case of corruption. the daughters in law harass their husbandsfor corruptive pratices to live beyond means comparing others. if the law is strictly followed our culture can be saved

  3. The Law is most timely and excellent,but needs carefull study of its all lines,not to leave loop holes.

  4. Dear Sir,
    Could you give me some names and Address of NGO or Organizations working for Counselling to Elderly on their Rights for being cared by their sons and Right to punish those who punish them.

    Regards,

  5. President,
    Peoples’ council for Civil Rights,Thalasserry-670 101.
    Kerala INDIA

  6. The pitiable condition of the parents and elderly citizens is now well known to all of us .trend of nuclear families ,increasing greed for material possession and a sharp decline in the social values have contributed to aggravate the problem .The law enacted may not by itself prove to be a wholesome solution .The need of the hour is that the law is applied rigorously and the people are reminded of the great traditions which stressed on the care and respect for parents and elderly persons.But then it is a good way to enforce moral values by providing them with legal sanction.

  7. How has the court interpreted this Act?

  8. All said and done, how many cases have actually seen the real story. I know a mother who tried to seperate her son & DIL because of EGO and finally the family shattered .. mother in one place, father in another place while the son & DIL are together. Father ran away when a baby was due to born. Mother took the son to court since father ran away, as if son was responcible for runing away. Why the son & DIL will have to look after the parents because of the ruling ? Who is going to validate this …. because if the matters goes to court, it call for expenditure. Will govt take the cost of hiring lawyers for all ? Just wonder why are we so bias in making rules ??

  9. R/sir,
    Presently i scholar of LL.M.(Human Rights)from NLIU-Bhopal(M.P.) I wrote my desseration on the topic on “Role of NGOs to protection and promotion of senior citizens rights in india”:-In context of Manantace of parents &senior citizen act,2007″.
    sir i want to know your guidence regarding my desseration .
    I highly Obliged to your support&highlited in my written summition.
    Thanking you.

  10. Hi,

    I would like to have your guidance regarding Elder Abuse by DIL and her parents.It is the bad infuence of the mother of DIL,which is causing turmoil and rejection of the parents resulting in abandoning them. Is there any way by which one can send letters to the parents of DIL informing them about the The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and also motivate such people (who stay in Faridabad).

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