Soon, neglected senior citizens will be able to demand monthly allowance from their kin, by moving to a maintenance tribunal in the state.
The tribunal, with powers equivalent to a civil court, headed by a presiding officer, can issue directives to the children of aggrieved parents to shell out a monthly maintenance of up to Rs 10,000.
Following a three-year delay, the state’s social justice department has finally formulated norms to implement the Centre's Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. Eleven states, including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, have been implementing this Act since 2008.
The Act includes provisions such as three-month jail sentence and Rs 5,000 penalty to those who abandon their parents. "The Act will come into effect within four months after we get certain guidelines over appointments to these tribunals, its working, cleared from the Centre and we will set up one tribunal in each district," said Sachin Ahir, minister of state for social justice.
The norms, issued by the state last month, states that tribunal should take care of the aggrieved parent's food, shelter, clothing and healthcare requirements. It will be worked out according to the total income of the kin and the number of dependants he has to support. There will be conciliation officers with every tribunal, who will try and reach settlement between the two parties before moving the case to the tribunal for judgment.
The norms will make it mandatory for every police station to keep records of senior citizens within its jurisdiction. All crimes against them will have to be reported from every police station to the district superintendent of police monthly.