Maharashtra cabinet has approved implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, a central government legislation, which provides for imprisonment for neglecting parents and senior citizens.
The Act provides that anyone who shows disrespect to or does not care for his or her parents who are above 60 years of age is liable for punishment up to three months of imprisonment or a fine of Rs 5,000 or both.
A meeting of the cabinet held in Mumbai on Wednesday night decided to implement the law in the state from March 1. Adopted children will also be liable to the punitive measures for ignoring their parents.
The law, passed in 2007, already exists in 15 other states.
Currently, a person is fined Rs 500 if his/her parents (senior citizens) lodge a complaint. The cabinet also approved establishment of Maintenance Tribunals to deal with the issues of senior citizens and parents whose responsibility has been rejected by their kith and kin.
The tribunals will have the status of a civil court with the powers of Judicial Magistrate First Class, as provided under the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973.