Registered among the 29 bills for the fragmentary Monsoon Session of Parliament, the Centre is probable to take up the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2019.

The proposed amendment bill aims to bring in major changes in the existing Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 and attempts to instill in the younger generation a moral duty to care and support one’s parents and elders.

The Bill brings step-children, adoptive children, children-in-law, and legal guardians of minor children under the definition of children. Under the Act, Maintenance Tribunals may direct children to pay a maximum of Rs 10,000 per month as upkeep amount to their parents.  The Bill removes this upper limit on the maintenance fee. The Act provides for senior citizens to plea the decisions of the Maintenance Tribunal.  The Bill allows children and relatives also to appeal verdicts of the Court.

The Bill provides that if the children or relatives fail to comply with maintenance orders, the Court may issue a warrant to impose the due amount.  Failure to pay such fine may lead to imprisonment of up to one month, or until the payment is made. The Bill provides for the directive of private care-homes for senior citizens, and institutions providing home-care services.

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Joydev Mishra


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