New Delhi: The government on Wednesday introduced a Bill to amend a 12-year-old existing law providing the welfare of senior citizens and parents and expand some existing definitions such as maintenance, welfare, children and parents.
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has provisions to arraign sons-in-law and daughters-in-law if they fail to look after their aged in-laws and also removes the cap of Rs 10,000 as maximum maintenance.
Introducing the Bill, Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said it provides for the 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 Bill, which seeks to amend the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, removes the ceiling of Rs 10,000 as maintenance and includes the preference to dispose of applications of senior citizens above 80 years of age.
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.
Union Cabinet last week approved the Bill which also proposes registration of senior citizens care homes and home care service agencies and also seeks to ensure that minimum standards are maintained at senior citizen care homes.
The Bill 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.