Retd SC Judge says tribunals for elderly are irrelevant

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New Delhi, Oct 1 (UNI) Retired Supreme Court Judge and President of the National Consumer Protection Redressal Commission, Justice M B Shah today said tribunals, constituted by the government, for the elderly are irrelevant and utter failure.

Since they do not function at all, years taken up to build infrastructure for them are wasted, he added.

Justice Shah speaking at a function organised by Age Care India, an NGO for the elderly, said wherever there is political interference, things break down. Courts are functioning just because they are not under political pressure.

He stated that the rule, mandatory for the banks to follow, that every pensioner has to fill up a form every year to prove that he is alive, is quite absurd and should be ammended by the bureaucracy.

Justice Shah also commented the law that sends children to jail can never pacify the parents. He cited the famous story that a son murdered his mother and tore out his heart to take to his beloved.

He stumbled on the way and a voice came out from the heart, "Are you alright my son?" Parents may be tortured by the children and yet would not want to see them behind bars. In such a situation, mothers will be torn between their husband and their sons, he emphasized.

Retired Judge of the Delhi High Court and Member of the National Consumer Protection Redressal Commission, Justice S N Kapoor said the Act proposed by the Law Commission that all children who do not look after their parents should be imprisoned for five years, will not prove to be a deterrant.

Instead, parents would be unnecessary worried about sending their children to jail. The parents' anger against their children is only temporary and needs to be dealt with in a sympathetic way, he added.

"We can save many families from breaking just by counselling both the parents as well as the children", Justice Kapoor said.

Senior Lawyer and President of Age Care of India, J C Batra said they will take a delegation of the elderly to the Law Minister Hans Raj Bhardwaj and get the clause to penalise the children, ammended.

He said it is a social problem and not a legal problem.

"We don't want the parents to carry a sense of guilt for punishing their chidren in such a harsh way", he emphasized.

Justice Kapoor said Article 41 of the Constitution can make effective provisions for public assistance to the aged, sick and disabled people. So, the aggreived aged can take protection of law under it.


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