Update national policy on older persons: SC to Centre
New Delhi, Aug 28: The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to update its national policy that envisages state support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter and other needs of older persons across the country.
The social justice bench comrpising justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said "national policy on old age homes is 15 year old. You need to update it. So much has happened since 1999."
The court said that revisiting the 1999 NPOP has become necessary in the wake of the enactment of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
The National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP) envisages state support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter and other needs of older persons, equitable share in development, protection against abuse and exploitation and availability of services to improve the quality of their lives.
It also provides state support on issues like social security, inter-generational bonding, family as the primary caretaker, role of NGOs, training of manpower and research.
The court expressed dissatisfaction over the reply filed by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry and said that it had not disclosed the steps taken so far for setting up old age homes.
Earlier, the apex court had issued notice to the Centre on the PIL seeking setting up of old age homes with basic healthcare facilities in every district of the country.
The bench, however, had not issued notice to others including Medical Council of India saying, "since we are limiting the scope of the petition to setting up of old age homes only, we are issuing notice only to the Health Ministry."
The PIL, filed by advocate Sanjeeb Panigrahi, said that senior citizens were being deprived of their rights and sought directions to initiate appropriate steps to carry out a survey of old age homes across the country.