Sunday, July 25, 2021

Son (daughter)-in-laws may soon be made responsible for welfare of senior citizens

Amendments in Welfare of Parents Act likely in Monsoon session of Parliament

New Delhi: If everything goes well, sons-in-laws and daughter-in-laws too would be made responsible for maintenance and welfare of senior citizens and parents. The Union government is expected to debate and pass the Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the ongoing monsoon session of the Parliament.

This bill is on the priority list of the Narendra Modi government and it also features on the list of bills for monsoon session 2021.

This bill envisages several changes to the Act.

This bill removes the upper limit of Rs. 10,000 on the maintenance amount to be paid to their parents.

The bill also brings in step-children, adoptive children, children-in-law and legal guardians of minor children under the definition of children.

Under the the existing Act, senior citizens can appeal the decisions of the Maintenance Tribunal. The Bill allows children and relatives also to appeal decisions of the Tribunal.

The Bill provides that if the children or relatives fail to comply with maintenance orders, the Tribunal may issue a warrant to levy the due amount. Failure to pay such fine may lead to imprisonment of up to one month, or until the payment is made.

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The Bill provides for the regulation of private care-homes for senior citizens, and institutions providing home-care services.

The penalty too will be raised under the Act if this amendment bill is passed. The bill proposes to make abandonment of senior citizen or parent punishable with imprisonment between 3 and 6 months, or a fine of up to Rs. 10,000 or both.

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