In this post, we will discuss about how most of the elderly complaints are not redressed and they have to wait that their complaints be redressed by the maintenance tribunal.
Facts of the case: The maintenance tribunal was set up under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007. It was set up to resolve the complaints of the elderly. In the past two months, the tribunal has received 26 complaints from seniors, while the number was 106 between April 2020 and March 2021 and 142 in the year before. In total, 551 complaints have been submitted so far but less than half have been resolved. The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 ensure maintenance for their livelihood. This Act also gives protection to the senior citizens transferring their property, as the transferee must provide basic amenities and basic physical needs to the transferor. But still over 60% complaints before the tribunal are awaiting response.
Legal Issue: Whether the elderly complaints will be resolved sooner or not.
Legal Opinion: There are over 60% of complaints of elderly people will are still not redressed and resolved. Complaints of senior citizens are mostly related to property disputes and harassment by children. It is noted that it is the responsibility of the administration to ensure that the senior citizens get justice at the earliest. The administration should have made alternative arrangements during covid pandemic to resolve the issues timely. More than 300 complaints are lying unresolved in the tribunal which is very disappointing. It doesn’t even have adequate number of conciliation officers. The Jail term of abandoning any senior citizen is upto three months or a fine which may extend to Rs.5000.
Suggestions: It was suggested that the tribunal can award maximum maintenance allowance as Rs. 10000 every month. The application for maintenance can be made to the tribunal by a senior citizen or any other authorized representative. The tribunal magistrates can take suo moto cognizance also. This Act also gives protection to the senior citizens transferring their property, as the transferee must provide basic amenities and basic physical needs to the transferor. All such transfers can be declared void if they are made as a result of fraud or coercion or if the transferee fails to fulfill the seniors basic needs.
Conclusion: Therefore as per the facts of the case, it is held that the district magistrate shall act as the appellate authority and ensure that the provisions of the act are carried properly as the civil courts are barred from entertaining any matter pertaining to this act. Also, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all the work on the resolution of the senior citizens complaints with the tribunal has come to a standstill. Due to the protocol laid down by the Union government, senior citizens were advised not to venture out due to covid-19 which has resulted in a backlog of complaints. Because that cases are on a decline due to covid, work on resolving these complaints will eventually speed up.
For case specific advice, please contact Senior Citizens maintenance tribunal lawyers advocates in Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali kharar Derabassi Zirakpur.
More on 99888-17966.