Parliament approves Parents Maintenance Bill

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New Delhi, Dec 6 (UNI) Parliament has approved the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2007, with the Rajya Sabha passing it today which aims at protecting the senior citizens and makes neglecting parents above 60 years punishable by a fine and imprisonment or both.

The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha yesterday.

It also aims to make provisions for setting up old-age homes to take care of indigent older persons, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar said in her reply to the debate on the Bill.

The Minister said the elderly need greater respect than they were being given and added that the legislation was a step in this direction.

The Bill provides for setting up separate tribunals at district headquarters where elderly parents could move to claim proper maintenance from their children.

In case, the adopted wards maltreat their aged parents, they would be empowered to revert their will and take back their property.

The Minister said the Bill was necessitated because of the growing practice of children neglecting their old parents, including maltreating and dumping old and ailing persons at odd places and spots such as bus stands and railway stations.

The Bill also aims at providing better medical facilities to the grey population and seeks to develop an institutional mechanism for the protection of the life and property of old people.

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