New Delhi, Aug 6 (UNI) The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, which came into force last year, is yet to be notified by most of states.
The related Bill was passed by Parliament in December last year and became Act on the same month. The law is to be implemented and notified by state governments individually.
Sources in the Ministry told UNI that only five states had notified the Act so far. Those were Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Jharkhand.
The Act makes it obligatory on the people who inherit the property of their aged relatives to take care of their needs. It also provides for setting up old-age homes to take care of indigent older persons.
At present there are 76 million elderly citizens in the country.
The Act seeks to institutionalise a suitable mechanism for the protection of the life and property of older persons.
According to provisions of the Act, any senior citizen who is unable to maintain himself on his own earnings or property can apply to a maintenance tribunal for a monthly allowance from his child or relative. The tribunal may also, on its own, initiate the process for maintenance.
It may, during the hearing on the matter, order children or relative to pay a monthly allowance for the interim maintenance of the senior citizen, including parent.
State governments are required to constitute the tribunals within a period of six months from the date of notification of the Act.
They also required to prescribe a comprehensive action plan for protecting the life and property of senior citizens.
The institutional structure for realising the aims of the Act has to be put in place by state governments, but because of both limited resources and various other reasons, including lack of will, most of them have failed to notify the Act, the sources said.
The Ministry had taken up the matter with the states separately.
UNI NAZ SP HS1510