Madhya Pradesh enforces senior citizens’ maintenance act

Bhopal, Aug 28 ( A law to ensure that senior citizens are well taken care of by their children or relatives has come into force in Madhya Pradesh and violations could lead to three months in jail, officials said Friday.

“The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act confers the right on every senior citizen above 60 years of age to demand maintenance from those relatives who own property or who can be their successors,” an official of the social justice department said.

The act has come into force from the date of its notification Aug 23, the official said.

“A tribunal has been set up in every district for disposal of cases pertaining to maintenance of aged people. There will be an appellate tribunal to hear appeals against the decisions of the tribunal. If the tribunal is convinced that the children or relatives have neglected their parents or senior citizens or have refused to take care of them, it will be empowered to order payment of upto Rs.10,000 per month to the applicants,” he said.

Minister of State for Social Justice (independent charge) Ranjana Baghel told Inditop that neglect or abandonment of senior citizens is a cognizable offence and the offender can be sentenced to three months in prison or a Rs.5,000 fine.

“The state government has taken action for effective enforcement of the Act and it would also set up old age homes for the protection and maintenance of senior citizens,” she said.

Baghel said that senior citizens who are unable to maintain themselves with their income could apply for maintenance from their adult children or relatives.

The maintenance will include proper food, shelter, clothing and medical facilities. And those classified as parent under the law include one’s real and adoptive parents, and stepmother or father.