Entitlement to claim maintenance
Section 4 of the Act mentions that a senior citizen including a parent who is unable to maintain himself from his own earning or property owned by him can claim maintenance.
Extent of the liability
In determining the extent of the obligation, it has been stated that the obligation of the children or relative, as the case may be, to maintain a senior citizen or parent (either father or mother or both) extends to the needs of such citizen or parent so that the claimant may lead a normal life.
This Act, however, doesn’t seek to make it an absolute obligation on the relatives of a senior citizen. The Act states that a relative from whom such maintenance is being claimed must have sufficient means to maintain such claimant.
Application for maintenance
An application for claiming maintenance as mentioned under section 4, before a Tribunal as constituted under Section 7 of the Act, may be made-
• By a senior citizen or a parent, as the case may be; or
• If he is incapable, by any other person or organisation authorised by him; or
• The Tribunal may take cognizance on its own (suo motu).
Order for maintenance
The Tribunal may pass an order directing children or relatives to make a monthly allowance at such monthly rate for the maintenance of such senior citizen or parent, as it thinks fit, to such parent or senior citizen. However, before passing such order the Tribunal has to take care of these points:
• That the children or relatives, as the case may be, have neglected or refused to maintain that parent or the senior citizen concerned.
• That the parent or senior citizen, as the case may be, is unable to maintain himself; and
• That the Tribunal is satisfied with such neglect or refusal by the children or relatives.
Protection of life and property of Senior citizens
In the situations where a senior citizen after the commencement of this Act, has transferred his property (movable or immovable), by way of gift or any such transfer, but the condition that the transferee shall provide him basic amenities and physical needs, is attached with the transfer, and thereafter such transferee refuses or fails to fulfill such condition, such transfer of property shall be deemed to have been made by fraud, coercion or undue influence and the Tribunal can declare such transfer as void.
Establishment of old-age homes
The Act makes it compulsory for the State Government to establish and maintain at least one old-age home in each district to accommodate a minimum of one hundred fifty senior citizens who are indigent.
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