June 11, 2010

INDIA: In Rajasthan, those neglecting parents could face jail

HYDERABAD, Andhra Pradesh / Deccan Chronicle / IANS / June 11, 2010

The Rajasthan government has come to the aid of the elderly neglected by their children. It has decided that the guilty will be ordered to make a monthly allowance as maintenance for their parents or face up to three months in jail.

The state cabinet approved the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act at a meeting held at the chief minister's office Thursday evening.

Under the act, a tribunal would be constituted for each sub-division of the state and sub-divisional officers would be appointed as presiding officers of the tribunal.

"The tribunal may order children or dependents of the senior citizen to make a monthly allowance for their maintenance, as the tribunal may deem fit and pay the same to such senior citizens as the tribunal may, from time to time, direct," a government spokesperson told IANS Friday.

The maximum maintenance allowance that may be ordered would prescribed by the state government and shall not exceed Rs 10,000 per month.

Provisions have been made that if children or dependents, as the case may be, neglect or refuse to maintain parents unable unable to look after themselves or abandon them, the tribunal may order punishment with a jail term of up to three months or a fine, which may extend to Rs.5,000.

To hear appeals against the order of the tribunal, the government would constitute an appellate tribunal for each district and the concerned district magistrate would be appointed as the presiding officer.

"If senior citizens transfer the rights of the legal property to their dependent and children and if the legal inheritors fail to provide basic amenities to the senior citizens, then the tribunal would be authorised to cancel the transfer of the property," he said.

Under the act, the government may also establish and maintain old age homes in a phased manner where the elderly could stay free of cost.

"Assistance could be taken from NGOs by the state government for these old age homes," he said.
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