A Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on Wednesday to amend a 12-year-old existing law providing the welfare of senior citizens. The Bill also seeks expansion of some definitions such as maintenance, welfare, children and parents.
The Bill was introduced by Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot who said that the Bill is to provide maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens for ensuring their basic needs, safety and security, establishment, management, and regulation of institutions and services, and the rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019 also has provisions to arraign son-in-law and daughter-in-law if they fail to look after their aged in-laws. It also removes the cap of Rs 10,000 as maximum maintenance.
The Bill seeks to amend the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
As per the amendment proposed by the government, the Bill removes the existing ceiling of Rs 10,000 as maintenance and includes the preference to dispose of applications of senior citizens above 80 years of age.
It also says that those who earn more should pay more to their parents as maintenance and that violators of the law could be punished by a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 or a jail term of three months or both.
Last week, the Union Cabinet had approved the Bill which also proposes registration of senior citizens care homes and home care service agencies. It also seeks to ensure that minimum standards are maintained at senior citizen care homes.
The Bill also includes the appointment of nodal police officers for senior citizens at every police station and district level special police unit with a helpline for senior citizens.