The Bombay high court (HC) has rapped the state government for the delay in submitting details of old age homes in Maharashtra.
The government has been directed to survey all facilities for the elderly in the state, check for the need to build new ones, and file a report without further delay.
A division bench comprising justice VM Kanade and justice AR Joshi was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Mission Justice, a non-profit organisation that wants the state and the Centre to improve the condition of old age homes in Maharashtra, and ensure better implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
The Act allows aged parents to apply for maintenance from their children, and for provisions for their medical care, setting up old age homes, among other things.
The PIL claims the state has failed to publicise the law and to make appropriate budgetary allocations for its provisions.
The counsel for the state, Dhairyasheel Nalavade, told the court the state “was taking the issue seriously and had conducted several high-level meetings regarding it.”
The state government had earlier informed the court that of the 193 old age homes in Maharashtra, 62 were run by the Centre, 39 by the state and the rest by non-government organisations (NGOs).
In a previous hearing, the court had said the state must look into a public-private partnership model and rope in big corporate houses to establish old-age homes for the almost 75 lakh senior citizens in the state.
The court had also said running old age homes is the state’s responsibility and not of NGOs.