An Act to provide for more effective provisions for the maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizen of parents and senior citizen guaranteed and recognized under the Constitution and for matters concerned therewith or incidental thereto.
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Bill, 2007 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 20 March 2007 and has been referred by Hon’ble Speaker to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment to provide for more effective provisions for the maintenance and welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Guaranteed and recognized under the Constitution and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto The most important provision of the Bill was in making the maintenance of parents by their family as a legal right.
The Bill purpose to provide for :
- the appropriate mechanism to be set up to provide need-based maintenance to the parents and senior citizens ;
- providing better medical facilities to senior citizen ;
- for the institutionalization of a suitable mechanism for protection of life and property of older persons; and
- setting up old age homes in every district.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,–
(a) “children” includes son, daughter, grandson, and grand-daughter but does not include a minor;
(b) “maintenance” includes provisions for food, clothing, residence and medical attendance and treatment;
(c) “minor” means a person who, under the provisions of the Majority Act, 1875 (9 of 1875) is deemed not to have attained the age of majority;
(d) “parent” means father or mother whether biological, adoptive or stepfather or stepmother, as the case may be, whether or not the father or the mother is a senior citizen;
(e) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made by the State Government under this Act;
(f) “property” means property of any kind, whether movable or immovable, ancestral or self-acquired, tangible or intangible, and includes rights or interests in such property;
(g) “relative” means any legal heir of the childless senior citizen who is not a minor and has or would inherit his property after his death;
(h) “senior citizen” means any person being a citizen of India, who has attained the age of sixty years or above;
(i) “State Government”, relation to a Union territory, means the Administrator thereof appointed under article 239 of the Constitution;
(j) “Tribunal’ means the Maintenance Tribunal constituted under section 7;
(k) “welfare” means provision for food, health care, recreation centers, and other amenities necessary for the senior citizens.
Act to have an overriding effect.
The provisions of this Act shall affect anything inconsistent therewith contained in any enactment other than this Act, or any instrument affecting under any enactment other than this Act.
Maintenance of parents and senior citizens.
(1) A senior citizen including a parent who is unable to maintain himself from his own earning or out of the property owned by him, shall be entitled to make an application under section 5 in case of–
(i) parent or grand-parent, against one or more of his children not being a minor;
(ii) a childless senior citizen, against such of his relative, referred to in clause (g) of section 2.
(2) The obligation of the children or relative, as the case may be, to maintain a senior citizen extends to the needs of such citizens so that senior citizens may lead a normal life.
(3) The obligation of the children to maintain his or her parent extends to the needs of such parent either father or mother or both, as the case may be, so that such parent may lead a normal life.
(4) Any person being a relative of a senior citizen and having sufficient means shall maintain such senior citizen provided he has the property of such citizen or he would inherit the property of such senior citizen:
Provided that where more than one relative is entitled to inherit the property of a senior citizen, the maintenance shall be payable by such relative in the proportion in which they would inherit his property.
1) An application for maintenance under section 4, may be made–
(a) by a senior citizen or a parent, as the case may be; or
(b) if he is incapable, by any other person or organization authorized by him; or
(c) the Tribunal may take cognizance suo motu.
Explanation.–For this section “organization” means any voluntary association registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860) or any other law for the time being in force.
(2) The Tribunal may, during the pendency of the proceeding regarding monthly allowance for the maintenance under this section, order such children or relative to make a monthly allowance for the interim maintenance of such senior citizen including parent and to pay the same to such senior citizen including parent as the Tribunal may from time to time direct.
(3) On receipt of an application for maintenance under subsection (1), after giving notice of the application to the children or relative and after giving the parties an opportunity of being heard, hold an inquiry for determining the amount of maintenance.
(4) An application filed under sub-section
(2) for the monthly allowance for the maintenance and expenses for proceeding shall be disposed of within ninety days from the date of the service of notice of the application to such person:
Provided that the Tribunal may extend the said period, once for a maximum period of thirty days in exceptional circumstances for reasons to be recorded in writing.
(5) An application for maintenance under sub-section
(1) maybe filed against one or more persons:
Provided that such children or relatives may implead the other person liable to maintain parent in the application for maintenance.
(6) Where a maintenance order was made against more than one person, the death of one of them does not affect the liability of others to continue paying maintenance.
(7) Any such allowance for the maintenance and expenses for proceeding shall be payable from the date of the order, or, if so ordered, from the date of the application for maintenance or expenses of the proceeding, as the case may be.
(8) If children or relative so ordered fail, without sufficient cause to comply with the order, any such Tribunal may, for every breach of the order, issue a warrant for levying the amount due in the manner provided for levying fines, and may sentence such person for the whole, or any part of each month’s allowance for the maintenance and expenses of the proceeding, as the case be, remaining unpaid after the execution of the warrant, to imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or until payment if sooner made whichever is earlier:
Provided that no warrant shall be issued for the recovery of any amount due under this section unless the application is made to the Tribunal to levy such amount within a period of three months from the date on which it became due.
Jurisdiction and procedure.
(1) The proceedings under section 5 may be taken against any children or relative in any district–
(a) where he resides or last resided; or
(b) where children or relative resides.
(2) On receipt of the application under section 5, the Tribunal shall issue a process for procuring the presence of children or relatives against whom the application is filed.
(3) For securing the attendance of children or relatives the Tribunal shall have the power of a Judicial Magistrate of first-class as provided under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
(4) All evidence to such proceedings shall be taken in the presence of the children or relative against whom an order for payment of maintenance is proposed to be made, and shall be recorded in the manner prescribed for summons cases:
Provided that if the Tribunal is satisfied that the children or relative against whom an order for payment of maintenance is proposed to be made are willfully avoiding service, or willfully neglecting to attend the Tribunal, the Tribunal may proceed to hear and determine the case ex parte.
(5) Where the children or relative is residing out of India, the summons shall be served by the Tribunal through such authority, as the Central Government may by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf.
(6) The Tribunal before hearing an application under section 5 may refer the same to a Conciliation Officer and such Conciliation Officer shall submit his findings within one month and if an amicable settlement has been arrived at, the Tribunal shall pass an order to that effect.
Explanation.–For this sub-section “Conciliation Officer” means any person or representative of an organization referred to in Explanation to sub-section (1) of section 5 or the Maintenance Officers designated by the State Government under sub-section (1) of section 18 or any other person nominated by the Tribunal for this purpose.