Which law protects elderly people?

Dated: 2024-05-25 14:01:13

I am an senior citizen, my son has denied from taking care of me. Can I take any legal action againest him to take care of me ?

Answers by Lawyers

Yes, you can take a legal action againest you son under, THE MAINTENANCE AND WELFARE OF PARENTS AND SENIOR CITIZENS ACT, 2007

Code of Criminal procedure also provides for legal protection of parents if they are not able to maintain themselves.

The act in short, is explained as follows,

  • Under the act, maintenance application can be filed by parents and senior citizens (above 60 years) unable to maintain himself/herself, against children (not minor) or relatives (who would inherit and are in possession of the property of the elderly).
  • The maintenance application can be filed by the senior citizen or a parent or any other person or organization authorized by him, if incapable of doing so himself.
  • The maintenance application can be filed either in the district where the elderly resides, or where the children or relatives resides. Notices would be sent and the proceedings should conclude within 90 days from the date of service of the maintenance application on the children or relatives.
  • The case would be referred for conciliation, if appropriate, before hearing. The findings of the conciliation officer (who can be the maintenance officer.NGO representative or anyone on behalf of the elderly) should be submitted to the tribunal within a month. If an applicable settlement has been reached, Tribunal shall pass an order according to that settlement.
  • If, children or relatives are ordered by the Tribunal to pay maintenance to the elderly, fail to comply, they are liable to a fine or imprisonment.
  • Abandonment of the elderly is now a cognizable offence. Anyone responsible for looking after or protecting the senior citizens, leaves him/her in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning, shall be punished and fined.
  • Role of NGO has also been legislated under the act e.g. for filling maintenance application on behalf of the elderly if he/she is unable to do so himself/herself, for reconciliation and reconciliation and representation of his/her case if unable  to do so and authorized someone else to represent and facilitate.


Sec 125 (d) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 grants the power to the magistrate to provide monthly allowance to the parents. The sub-section reads as follows,

(d) his father or mother, unable to maintain himself or herself, a Magistrate of the first class may, upon proof of such neglect or refusal, order such person to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of his wife or such child, father or mother, at such monthly rate not exceeding five hundred rupees in the whole, as such magistrate thinks fit, and to pay the same to such person as the Magistrate may direct from time to time.

Section 20 to 27 concisely of The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 define the maintenance of the Parents. The parents are defined as dependents in Section 21 of the same act, while Sec 20 provides for the maintenance of children and aged parents.While the other sections 22 23, 25 also talk about maintenance.

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