Posts tagged ‘parents’

Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007

The above Act was enacted by the Indian Parliament with an intention to provide effective provisions for the maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens. According to this Act, senior citizens who are unable to maintain themselves can make an application against their children for maintenance. If a senior citizen is a childless person, he can file an application against his relatives for maintenance.

The obligation of the children or the relatives to maintain a senior citizen extends to the needs of such senior citizens, so that such parents may lead a normal life.

If a person being relative of a senior citizen and is having sufficient means and is in possession of property of the senior citizen or if he would inherit the property of such senior citizens, then he is liable to maintain such senior citizens.

A senior citizen can file an application for maintenance to the maintenance tribunal. If he is incapable of making the application himself, he can authorize any organization or person to do the needful.

The tribunal is empowered to grant interim maintenance to senior citizens, during the pendency of proceedings before it. An application for maintenance shall be disposed off, in the normal course within 90 days from the date of service of notice and in exceptional cases, the tribunal may extend the said period, once for a maximum period of 30 days.

An application for the maintenance may be filed against one or more persons. The allowance for maintenance and for expenses for the proceedings may be passed from the date of the order or even from the date of filing the application. If the children or relative fails to pay maintenance to a senior citizen, then the tribunal can issue a warrant against them and send them for imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or until payment, if sooner made which ever is earlier. The proceedings against the children and a relative shall be taken before the tribunal in a district where they resides or resided last.

The Act also provides for a conciliation officer who can try for a negotiated settlement between the parties. Normally the order for maintenance is made on a monthly basis. The maximum monthly maintenance is Rs.10,000/- per month. The tribunal has the power to make alteration in the allowances if there is a change in the circumstances or for other reasons like misrepresentation or mistake of fact done by the applicant before it.

Are parents entitled for maintenance?

We hear about children claiming maintenance from their parents, wives seeking maintenance from their husbands, but it is very uncommon to have heard parents claiming maintenance from their children. In the present technology driven society where children fail to take care of their parents, this is a valuable right available to aged and infirm parents, which is found in Chapter 9 of The Code of Criminal Prodcedure, 1973.

A father or mother who is unable to maintain himself or herself, and who has a son or daughter who has sufficient means and who refuses or neglects to maintain his parents, may file a petition before a magistrate of the first class. The magistrate after such enquiry can order the son or daughter to make a monthly maintenance to his or her parent. Such maintenance has to be paid from the date of application or from the date of order as decided by the court.

If any person who is ordered to pay such maintenance fails to comply with the said order, then the magistrate may issue a warrant for levying the amount due, or may even sentence the defaulter to simple imprisonment. It is pertinent to note that the parents need not to have given some assets or share of wealth to their children before they can enforce this right.

The proceedings are normally filed in the jurisdictional family court and may take on an average one to two years for the completion of the proceedings depending on the workload of the respective courts.