Senior citizens neglected or abandoned by their children will soon be able to demand a monthly allowance from them.
The state government will set up maintenance tribunals, with powers equal to those of courts, which can issue directives to kin of elders to pay an amount of up to Rs 10,000 per month. Every district will have one tribunal, headed by a presiding officer.
After a three-year delay, the social justice department has finally formulated norms for implementing the Centre’s Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. Eleven states — Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa among them – have so far implemented the Act which stipulates a three-month jail term and Rs 5,000 as penalty for those who abandon their parents.
“The Act will come into effect in the next four months after we get certain guidelines over appointments to these tribunals and its working cleared from the Centre,” Sachin Ahir, Minister of State for Social Justice said.
The norms issued by the state make it clear that the maintenance amount must take care of food, shelter, clothing and healthcare needs. It will be worked out on the basis of the total income of the kin and the number of dependents they have.
Every tribunal will have conciliation officers who will attempt to reach a settlement between the two parties before moving the case to the tribunal for judgement.