File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Elder Abuse, Maintenance And Welfare Of Parents And Senior Citizens Act, 2007

Abuse of the elderly by family members dates back to many centuries. It remained a private matter, hidden from public view, until the advent of initiatives to address child abuse and domestic violence that took place in the last quarter of the 20th century.

Abuse of the elderly, like other forms of family violence, began as a social welfare issue and later evolved into a problem of ageing, but now it is a public health and criminal justice concern. As a result, these two fields i.e. public health and criminal justice : have largely shaped how abuse of the elderly is perceived, analysed, and dealt with.

International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse1 states that:
Elder abuse is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older.

These types of abuse are generally classified as follows:

  • Physical abuse: Infliction of pain or injury, physical coercion, or physical or drug:induced restraint are few examples.
  • Mental abuse: Abuse of the mind, whether psychological or emotional, is the infliction of mental anguish.
  • Financial abuse: It is the illegal or improper exploitation or use of an elderly person's funds or resources.
  • Sexual abuse: It is defined as any form of non:consensual sexual contact with an elderly person.
  • Neglect: It is defined as the refusal or failure to fulfil a caregiver obligation. This could include a conscious and intentional attempt to cause physical or emotional distress to the elderly person.

What is the condition of Elderly citizens in India:

According to the report by Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI), 2 the prevalence of the practice among the elderly was proportionately higher in Bihar (12%), Karnataka (10%), West Bengal (8%), Uttar Pradesh (6%), Chandigarh (6%), and Chhattisgarh (6%).

According to the report, 77.3 per cent of the elderly who felt ill-treated complained of verbal/emotional ill-treatment, which can harm their self-worth or emotional well-being. Almost one-fifth (23.7%) were subjected to physical abuse, which occurs when a senior is injured as a result of hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, burning, or another exhibit of force. Nearly a quarter (26.5%) experienced economic exploitation, which is the misappropriation of an elderly person's money, property, and assets. More than half of the elderly were neglected (52.6 per cent).

The above mention data show the relation of the abuser with the elderly, according to the data, it has been concluded that mostly elder are prone to be abused by the son/daughter/grandchildren.

Legal Provision:
Article 413 of Directive Principles of State Policy in the Indian Constitution directs the state to provide assistance for older persons and also their rights to get maintenance from their children has been embedded under Section 1254 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 20075 established a legal framework in support of the elderly, requiring children and property heirs to care for and support the poor elderly, as well as trying to encourage state governments to establish old-age homes for the disadvantaged elderly. The act anticipates the state providing assistance for financial security, healthcare, shelter, welfare, protection from abuse and exploitation, and other needs of the elderly.

An overview of the Act:
The Act's Objects and Reasons clear the fact that it refers to traditional norms and values of Indian society. India, the land of the Upanishads that profess Matru Pitru Devo Bhava, has become increasingly superficial, and we have become more self-centered. The act's goal is to provide physical, financial, and emotional assistance to all senior citizens who are in need.

The act contains 32 sections divided into seven chapters that provide several basic yet important rights to elderly people in India.

It includes the right to maintenance, the establishment of old age homes, medical care, and the protection of a senior citizen's life and property, as well as provisions to punish those who abandon a senior citizen completely. The Act requires children or legal heirs to provide their parents or grandparents with basic necessities.

Maintenance Tribunals have been established to ensure that the law is enforced. Monthly maintenance of up to Rs. 10,000 can be awarded, and the children or relatives must deposit this within 30 days of the tribunal's order.

Moreover, the state governments have been charged with ensuring that each district has at least one old age home for homeless senior citizens. Adequate medical facilities, as well as senior citizen security, must be provided. Special arrangements, such as separate queues and hospital beds, must also be made.

Courts have time to time tried to imply through their orders that the Act's implementation is still not sufficient. According to studies, a lack of awareness of rights among the elderly is a major reason for the legislation's ineffective implementation. Emotional attachment to children, physical inability to fight a case and social stigma associated with living in old age homes are some of the other reasons why parents/ senior citizens do not seek maintenance through the legal system. Still, there is numerous judgment by Courts that seems to uplift the situation of elder people in society.

Conclusion:
The number of elderly people in India is rapidly increasing. With an ever increasing number of elderly people, their voices are increasingly difficult to ignore. Everyone's attention needs to be drawn to their needs and rights. Though there are legal provisions and practices dealing with old age, it rarely influences the path of creating and developing a socially harmonious environment for the elderly.

Thus, there is an urgent need to reevaluate existing legal provisions and develop more equitable, effective, and strong legal provisions to encourage older people: friendly legal practices in the country. And the same should be followed by an equally ardent spread of awareness.

End-Notes:
  1. Available at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/ageing/world:elder:abuse:awareness:day.html
  2. International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), National Programme for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE), MoHFW, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Southern California (USC) 2020. Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) Wave 1, 2017:18, India Report, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai. Available at: https://www.iipsindia.ac.in/sites/default/files/LASI_India_Report_2020_compressed.pdf
  3. Art 41 of Indian Constitution: Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.
  4. Section 125 of The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Act 2 of 1974: Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents.
  5. The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007, Act no. 56 of 2007.
Also Read:
  1. Elder Abuse
  2. Laws for Senior citizens in India
  3. Judicial Approach towards the Rights of Elderly Persons
  4. Rights of Senior Citizen - The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2007

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers



Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


LawArticles

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...

Titile

The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of th...

Whether Caveat Application is legally pe...

Titile

Whether in a criminal proceeding a Caveat Application is legally permissible to be filed as pro...

How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi

Titile

How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

The Factories Act,1948

Titile

There has been rise of large scale factory/ industry in India in the later half of nineteenth ce...

Copyright: An important element of Intel...

Titile

The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has its own economic value when it puts into any market ...

Law of Writs In Indian Constitution

Titile

Origin of Writ In common law, Writ is a formal written order issued by a body with administrati...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online


File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly