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If children abuse their parents (over 60 years old), decisive action can be taken under the Maintenance-and-Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. Learn more.

Senior Citizens Act

Atrocities against senior citizens from their children, heirs, and relatives have increased significantly. The Senior Citizens Act provides a legislative framework and protects their rights.

Rising Abuse Against Senior Citizens in India

A few years back, India was shocked when a video surfaced showing abuse and harassment of elderly couples by their children and daughter-in-law. Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. Abuse and neglect of senior citizens are rising rapidly. In 2022, HelpAge India's report 'Bridge the Gap: Understanding Elder Needs' showed 35% of senior citizens suffer abuse from their children.

As per estimates, the elderly population in India will reach 300 million by 2050. With a rapid rise in abuse of elderly parents in India, this vulnerable section of our society needs support from the law for social justice.

Is there any law to protect senior citizens from neglect/abuse from their children and relatives? Yes, there is. Let’s explore.

Senior Citizens Act: What Is It?

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act was enacted in 2007 to secure the rights of senior citizens. This landmark legislation tries to help senior citizens from negligence and abuse from their children, heirs, and other family members.

Senior Citizens Act provides older people with the following:

  • Protection from abuse
  • Financial security
  • Welfare

According to this Indian law, you'll be considered a criminal if you abandon your senior citizen's parents. This law also makes the transfer of property to children void if they:

  • Abandon their parents,
  • Fail to keep their promise, or
  • Abuse their parents

In short, any abuse or negligence against parents can land one in trouble.

Also ReadWhat are the Expectations Of Senior Citizens from the 2023 Budget?

Abuse: What Is It?

To effectively implement the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, defining what 'abuse' is essential. 'Abuse' may not always mean 'physical abuse' only.

You may be convicted of 'abuse' against your parents in case of:

  • Physical abuse
  • Neglect
  • Financial abuse
  • Emotional abuse and many more

Examples:

Let's explain the term 'abuse' with the help of some examples. You may be accused or prosecuted by the Senior Citizens Act in charges of 'abuse' if you:

  1. Force your reluctant parents to transfer their assets to your name
  2. Don’t check up on your parents
  3. Make your parents leave their own house
  4. Make your parents miserable and lonely

Top 7 Essentials of the Senior Citizens Act

Legal Obligation

Whether you are a son or a daughter, the Senior Citizens Act has now made it a legal obligation for you to look after your elderly parents.

Who is a Parent?

As per the concerned Act, a parent can be any of the following:

  • Biological parent
  • Adoptive parent
  • Step-parent

Who is a Senior Citizen?

A person whose age is either 60 years or more is considered a senior citizen in India.

What Does 'Maintenance' Mean?

According to Section 2 (b) of the Senior Citizens Act, a son or daughter is obligated to provide his/her parents with the following:

  • Food
  • Cloth
  • Residence
  • Medical attention
  • Treatment

Also Read: Why Should Senior Citizens Invest in Tax-Saving Fixed-Deposits?

What Aspect of the Senior Citizens Act Is So Controversial?

In 2013, an amendment was passed. It empowered senior citizens to lodge complaints against their children if they neglect or abuse their elderly parents. The concerned Act also made it a criminal offence for children to abandon their senior citizen parents.

Who Can Apply Under The Senior Citizen Act For Maintenance?

According to Section 5 of the Senior Citizen Act of 2007, the following persons can claim maintenance from their children:

  • Parents whose age is 60 years or above
  • A person/organisation who is authorised by a parent or senior citizen
  • The Tribunal's 'Suo Motu cognisance

What Should the Rights Senior Citizens Know Under The Act?

File Application

Senior citizen parents can apply to Section 5 of the Senior Citizens Act if:

  1. They’re unable to maintain themselves
  2. They have been ousted from their property

Obligations Towards Senior Citizens

Children/relatives have obligations (under the Act's Section 4) to take care of their senior parents' needs so that they can live a normal life. Therefore, the concerned section also prescribes a penalty of Rs. 10,000 per month against children/relatives if they fail to provide adequate maintenance to their senior parents.

Exception for Son-In-Law or Daughter-In-Law

Under the Senior Citizens Act's Section 2 (a), sons-in-law and daughters-in-law don't come under the definition of 'children'. So, they are exempt from any obligation.

Protection Of Property

  • The Senior Citizens Act provides adequate protection if your children wrongfully or unlawfully take away your property.
  • Suppose you've transferred your property (movable/immovable) to your children on the condition that they:
    • Look after your physical well-being
    • Provide you with basic amenities

There is a provision in Senior Citizens Act that makes the transfer void if it is proved that such a transfer is done by:

  • Coercion
  • Fraud

Senior Citizens Welfare Tribunal

The concerned Act has created a Senior Citizens Welfare Tribunal to dispose of complaints promptly.

Final Words

The abuse, neglect, and atrocities against the elderly are rising in India. To protect the rights of older adults from the horrors of their children, the Senior Citizen Act provides a legal basis. This legislation necessitates relatives, heirs, and children to take care of the basic amenities of their senior citizen parents. The constitution of India had these provisions for an extended period. However, with the enactment of the Senior Citizens act, these provisions have received a legislative framework.

Atrocities against senior citizens from their children, heirs, and relatives have increased significantly. The Senior Citizens Act provides a legislative framework and protects their rights.

Rising Abuse Against Senior Citizens in India

A few years back, India was shocked when a video surfaced showing abuse and harassment of elderly couples by their children and daughter-in-law. Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. Abuse and neglect of senior citizens are rising rapidly. In 2022, HelpAge India's report 'Bridge the Gap: Understanding Elder Needs' showed 35% of senior citizens suffer abuse from their children.

As per estimates, the elderly population in India will reach 300 million by 2050. With a rapid rise in abuse of elderly parents in India, this vulnerable section of our society needs support from the law for social justice.

Is there any law to protect senior citizens from neglect/abuse from their children and relatives? Yes, there is. Let’s explore.

Senior Citizens Act: What Is It?

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act was enacted in 2007 to secure the rights of senior citizens. This landmark legislation tries to help senior citizens from negligence and abuse from their children, heirs, and other family members.

Senior Citizens Act provides older people with the following:

  • Protection from abuse
  • Financial security
  • Welfare

According to this Indian law, you'll be considered a criminal if you abandon your senior citizen's parents. This law also makes the transfer of property to children void if they:

  • Abandon their parents,
  • Fail to keep their promise, or
  • Abuse their parents

In short, any abuse or negligence against parents can land one in trouble.

Also ReadWhat are the Expectations Of Senior Citizens from the 2023 Budget?

Abuse: What Is It?

To effectively implement the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, defining what 'abuse' is essential. 'Abuse' may not always mean 'physical abuse' only.

You may be convicted of 'abuse' against your parents in case of:

  • Physical abuse
  • Neglect
  • Financial abuse
  • Emotional abuse and many more

Examples:

Let's explain the term 'abuse' with the help of some examples. You may be accused or prosecuted by the Senior Citizens Act in charges of 'abuse' if you:

  1. Force your reluctant parents to transfer their assets to your name
  2. Don’t check up on your parents
  3. Make your parents leave their own house
  4. Make your parents miserable and lonely

Top 7 Essentials of the Senior Citizens Act

Legal Obligation

Whether you are a son or a daughter, the Senior Citizens Act has now made it a legal obligation for you to look after your elderly parents.

Who is a Parent?

As per the concerned Act, a parent can be any of the following:

  • Biological parent
  • Adoptive parent
  • Step-parent

Who is a Senior Citizen?

A person whose age is either 60 years or more is considered a senior citizen in India.

What Does 'Maintenance' Mean?

According to Section 2 (b) of the Senior Citizens Act, a son or daughter is obligated to provide his/her parents with the following:

  • Food
  • Cloth
  • Residence
  • Medical attention
  • Treatment

Also Read: Why Should Senior Citizens Invest in Tax-Saving Fixed-Deposits?

What Aspect of the Senior Citizens Act Is So Controversial?

In 2013, an amendment was passed. It empowered senior citizens to lodge complaints against their children if they neglect or abuse their elderly parents. The concerned Act also made it a criminal offence for children to abandon their senior citizen parents.

Who Can Apply Under The Senior Citizen Act For Maintenance?

According to Section 5 of the Senior Citizen Act of 2007, the following persons can claim maintenance from their children:

  • Parents whose age is 60 years or above
  • A person/organisation who is authorised by a parent or senior citizen
  • The Tribunal's 'Suo Motu cognisance

What Should the Rights Senior Citizens Know Under The Act?

File Application

Senior citizen parents can apply to Section 5 of the Senior Citizens Act if:

  1. They’re unable to maintain themselves
  2. They have been ousted from their property

Obligations Towards Senior Citizens

Children/relatives have obligations (under the Act's Section 4) to take care of their senior parents' needs so that they can live a normal life. Therefore, the concerned section also prescribes a penalty of Rs. 10,000 per month against children/relatives if they fail to provide adequate maintenance to their senior parents.

Exception for Son-In-Law or Daughter-In-Law

Under the Senior Citizens Act's Section 2 (a), sons-in-law and daughters-in-law don't come under the definition of 'children'. So, they are exempt from any obligation.

Protection Of Property

  • The Senior Citizens Act provides adequate protection if your children wrongfully or unlawfully take away your property.
  • Suppose you've transferred your property (movable/immovable) to your children on the condition that they:
    • Look after your physical well-being
    • Provide you with basic amenities

There is a provision in Senior Citizens Act that makes the transfer void if it is proved that such a transfer is done by:

  • Coercion
  • Fraud

Senior Citizens Welfare Tribunal

The concerned Act has created a Senior Citizens Welfare Tribunal to dispose of complaints promptly.

Final Words

The abuse, neglect, and atrocities against the elderly are rising in India. To protect the rights of older adults from the horrors of their children, the Senior Citizen Act provides a legal basis. This legislation necessitates relatives, heirs, and children to take care of the basic amenities of their senior citizen parents. The constitution of India had these provisions for an extended period. However, with the enactment of the Senior Citizens act, these provisions have received a legislative framework.