What happened to tribunal to look after elderly: court to government

May 3rd, 2009 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) Approached by another elderly citizen within a span of three weeks seeking protection and care from uncaring and greedy kin, the Delhi High Court has ticked off the city government over its failure to set up a tribunal for aged people despite a law for their welfare.
The court’s decision came after it was approached by 91-year-old Sukhdev Singh, who sought protection from his grandson who wanted to grab his property.

Singh, who lives alone in his east Delhi house, sought protection from his grandson and a local police officer who he alleged were trying to grab his property.

Filing his plea through his counsel Rajinder Dutta, Singh also asked for constituting a tribunal for the maintenance of aged parents and protection of their rights.

Expressing concern over the plight of the elderly, the court pulled up the Delhi government over its failure to set up a tribunal even after enactment of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act in 2007.

The court gave the government four weeks’ time to execute the order and sought a compliance report by July 7.

“The legislative policy cannot be defeated by executive inaction in respect of the constitution of such a tribunal,” observed Justice S. Ravindra Bhat in a recent order.

The act enables the tribunal to determine cases in which children or relatives have neglected or refused to look after elderly kin who are unable to do so themselves. Under the act, the tribunal can also direct the children to make a monthly allowance and fix the rate of maintenance for their elderly parents.

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