Savitri Devi (85), of Baliali village in SAS Nagar, is facing the worst time of her life at an age when she needs to be cared for with love and affection. Repeatedly visiting offices of the local administration to execute a court order of eviction of her daughter from the house that her husband willed to her, her struggle started years ago.
“The court ordered that the ownership of the house in the village be transferred to me. My daughter, Kuldeep Kaur who is forcibly living in the same house must vacate. The authorities have failed to act,” said Savitri, furiously clutching to the orders of an SDM court in 2011 and a civil court order of October 2014. Then, judicial magistrate Ashish Saldi had ordered eviction of Kuldeep from the house, dismissing her petition seeking eviction of her mother from the house.
“I filed a complaint under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. This was disposed of in 2011 with directions that my daughter can stay in the house only if I allow her. To date, this order has not been implemented,” she adds, accusing her daughter of not even feeding her properly and of cruelty and torture.
Admn yet to constitute panels
Nearly a decade after the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, came into force, the SAS Nagar is yet to constitute district-level committees to ensure speedy action.
In a reply to an RTI application, the SAS Nagar administration said, “No committee has been formed to date, but the process of setting up the same is in progress. SDMs were directed to send a report with regard to the members of the said committees, but even the report has not been received.”
A committee was formed under the social welfare officer, but it was rendered defunct as no complaints were received.
Parents seek eviction
Most of the 20-odd complaints filed with the district administration are about re-claiming gifted properties and eviction of children. Four such cases are pending.
“In SAS Nagar, most complainants seek eviction of their children, so that the portion of house can be rented. More than maintenance, parents are seeking eviction,” said an official.
The Act seeks to make it a legal obligation for children and legal heirs to provide sufficient maintenance to senior citizens and proposes to make provisions for state governments to establish old age homes in every district. The Act also provides that senior citizens can reclaim the property they gifted or transferred to their children, if their welfare and basic needs are not provided.