The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to give due publicity to the promulgation of rules under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, as well as the constitution of tribunals, to bring necessary awareness to the notice of senior citizens so that they can approach the tribunals.
The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain on Friday while disposing of a case in which the court had taken suo motu notice of a media report about the plight of 85-year-old Chandigarh woman.
The news report had highlighted that how an old woman had been turned out to live at the mercy of others, though she had eight children -- five sons and three daughters. It was reported that only the police had come to her rescue and sent her to the old age home to live without any family support system, which she required at such an advance age.
In response to the high court notices issued to both the states and the UT Chandigarh, they informed the court on Friday that in exercise of powers conferred by section 32 of the said Act, they had framed the rules. Tribunals had also been constituted and conciliation officers were appointed.
What the Act says
The Act gives legal right to a senior citizen, including the parent, who is unable to maintain himself from his own earning or out of the property owned by him, to seek per-month maintenance from his kin to lead a normal life. A senior citizen can also seek maintenance from a relative, having sufficient means, provided he is in possession of the property of such senior citizen or he would inherit the property of such senior citizen. State/UT government authorities are under obligation to constitute maintenance tribunals.