Time and time again, our government has established how much it cares for our elders, and there are several acts in our constitution attesting to this fact. One such act is the Senior Citizen Act of India, also more popularly known as the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007. This article will shed light on this important subject that surely deserves a lot more attention, what this act entails along with the benefits that it can provide to our beloved seniors.
What Is The Senior Citizens Act Of India Of 2007?
This Senior Citizens Act simply dictates the effective measures for the provision of maintaining and providing welfare to our parents and seniors of the family, guaranteeing them quality living conditions and adequate care. This is needed so they live out their post-retirement life without having a second doubt in their heads and can enjoy this phase of their lives.
The Act extends all across India and also applies to non-resident Indians.
Maintenance Of Parents And Senior Citizens
For instance, if a senior citizen is not able to sustain themselves through their earnings or through the property that they own, then they are entitled to apply under section 5 (senior citizen act), which states the parent or grandparent in question can apply this application against:
- One or multiple of their children unless they are a minor.
- In the case of a senior citizen without a direct next of kin, section 5 can apply against a relative of the senior citizen in question who is set to inherit the senior’s property after their demise.
The Children or the relative are obliged to maintain the senior citizen’s lifestyle in such a way that they lead the rest of their days with a normal and healthy lifestyle.
Any relative of the senior citizen who is of sound mind and has the means necessary for the maintenance of the senior can in fact do just that, provided that they are in the will of the senior. In the case of multiple relatives, all entitled to the possessions and properties of the senior citizen in question, the maintenance shall be paid by all the relatives based on the proportion of the inheritance each of them will be getting.
Application For Maintenance Under The Senior Citizen Act
An application can be filed for maintenance and welfare under section 4 of the senior citizen act:
(a) By the senior citizen in question as the case goes.
(b) If they themselves are incapable, it can be filed by the authority figure declared by them.
(c) An action will be taken by the tribunal, government agency, or any other central authority.
The application entails an inquiry being held to decide the maintenance amount once the children and the parties are given proper notice and have been allowed to say their piece. The agreed-upon monthly allowance must be paid in due within 90 days from the date of the service to the senior citizen. This period can be extended under special circumstances for up to 30 days, given that the tribunal gets this in writing.
The application can be filed against multiple people, given that may prosecute the other party liable to maintain the parent in the application. In this case, if there is a death in the aforementioned parties, it does not affect the continuance of the other paying the maintenance.
If any children or concerned parties fail to comply, it can make them vulnerable to fines, warrants, and even jail time, based on their specific situation and the reasoning for delayed or absent regular timed payments.
Jurisdiction And Procedure Of The Senior Citizen Act
The proceedings under section 5 (senior citizen act) may be taken against any children or relative in any district;
(a) Where they last resided, or
(b) The current residence of the children or relatives.
The Tribunal can secure the attending of the children and relatives through the power of the Judicial Magistrate, here all the evidence of the proceeding shall be registered in the presence of the concerned children or relatives liable for the payment of the maintenance. However, the children or the relative in question should be approved by the Tribunal, which sets certain conditions that need to be satisfied in order to be given control.
The Tribunal has the power to apply to a “Conciliation officer”, who has one month to look into the case and report his findings to the Tribunal. This can be done under the Tribunal’s authority before hearing the said application. Based on the officer’s findings, the Tribunal will pass an order concerning the effect and the outcome of the case in the application.
Here the Conciliation officer can be a representative of the Maintenance officers designated by the State government or any other party/person selected by the Tribunal for the case.
Order For Maintenance
If the Tribunal finds that there is neglect or refusal of monthly maintenance while the senior is under the children or the relatives’ care, the Tribunal shall order the concerned parties to map out a monthly allowance and pay it to the senior citizen on a per-month basis. This order shall be directed from the Tribunal from time to time in such cases.
The maximum maintenance allowance that can be ordered by the Tribunal and prescribed by the concerned state government authority shall not exceed 10,000 INR per month.
Alteration In Allowance
In case the Tribunal finds proof of misrepresentation or mistake that alters the current agreed-upon circumstances that can affect the monthly maintenance allowance under section 9 of the senior citizen act, the Tribunal can alter the monthly allowance amount payable by the concerned parties as it seems fit.
If the concerned case stumbles upon precedents where the orders made under section 9 must be cancelled or have to be varied depending on the case, the Tribunal with the decision of a competent civil court can alter or cancel the order accordingly.
We hope this article helped you understand the senior citizen’s act, or Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior citizens, better. Now we shall go over some of the frequently asked questions about this act that you might have thought of while reading this article.
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Frequently Asked Questions
In case a senior citizen is willing to gift their property to a selected inheritor out of love and subsequently the person inheriting the property fails to provide the senior citizen with basic amenities and welfare, then the said transfer of property can become voidable under law.
A senior citizen can get a deduction of 1.5 Lakh INR from their total income under section 80c, this can be claimed as an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF). If you seem to have paid extra in taxes and have investments in LIC, PPF, or any such applicable investments and seemed to have missed claiming your deduction, under this act you can always file your Income Tax Return (ITR) and claim these deductions.
The code for The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior citizens Act, 2007 is 200756