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Bill introduced in LS on welfare of senior citizens, parents

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A Bill that seeks to impose six months imprisonment or a fine of ₹10,000 or both on those who abuse parents, in-laws or senior citizens under their care was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday by Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gahlot.

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019, has provisions for the elderly to claim maintenance and for mandatory registration of senior citizens care homes and other such institutions which will have to comply with prescribed minimum standards.

‘Abuse’ definition

The Bill defines “abuse” as physical, verbal, emotional and economic abuse, neglect and abandonment, causing assault, injury, physical or mental suffering. “Children” in relation to a parent or a senior citizen means son or daughter, whether biological, adoptive or step-child, and includes son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandson, grand-daughter and legal guardians of minor children.

The Bill provides for establishment of a tribunal for senior citizens to file claims for maintenance and assistance and such applications from those above 80 years of age should be disposed of within 60 days.

Nodal officer

According to the Bill, there will be a nodal officer at each police station, not below the rank of an assistant sub-inspector, to deal with the issues relating to parents and senior citizens.

A dedicated help line number would be available for senior citizens in every State to convey their problems.

The definition ‘maintenance’ has been expanded to include safety and security of the parents besides taking care of their food, clothing, housing and health care obligations.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 3:48:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bill-introduced-in-ls-on-welfare-of-senior-citizens-parents/article30279846.ece

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