SENIOR CITIZENS ACT 2007 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Vulnerable Sections of India)

News-CRUX-10     12th April 2024        
output themes

Context: The Bombay High Court recently affirmed that the Senior Citizens Act aims not to void validly executed gift deeds but to reinstate the residence rights of elderly parents in homes gifted to their children.

The Senior Citizens Act 2007

  • About: It encompasses legislation aimed at safeguarding the rights, welfare, and well-being of elderly individuals within society.
  • Determining Senior Citizenship: The designation of senior citizenship varies globally, often beginning at ages 60 or 65, though specifics can differ based on regional regulations.
  • Legal Obligation for Support: The Act legally obliges adult children and heirs to provide a monthly allowance for parents.
  • Definition of Parents: According to the Act, parents encompass biological, adoptive, or step-parents.
  • Protection of Life and Property: The Act includes provisions to safeguard the life and property of elderly individuals.
  • Legal Provisions: The Senior Citizens Act typically includes legal provisions ensuring access to healthcare, financial assistance, and protections against elder abuse, though specifics vary by jurisdiction.

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • Expansion of Definition: The Bill expands the definition of children to include step-children, adoptive children, children-in-law, and legal guardians of minor children.
  • Removal of Upper Limit: Under the Act, Maintenance Tribunals can direct children to pay a maximum of Rs 10,000 per month as maintenance to their parents; however, the Bill eliminates this upper limit.
  • Extension of Appeal Rights: While the Act allows senior citizens to appeal Tribunal decisions, the Bill extends this right to children and relatives as well.
  • Enforcement Measures: The Bill empowers Tribunals to issue warrants for the levy of due maintenance amounts, and failure to comply may result in imprisonment for up to one month or until payment is made.
  • Regulation of Care Facilities: Introducing regulations, the Bill addresses the oversight of private care-homes for senior citizens and institutions offering home-care services.