STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
Traditional norms and values of the Indian society laid stress on providing care for the elderly. However, due to withering of the joint family system, a large number of elderly are not being looked after by their family. Consequently, many older persons, particularly widowed women are now forced to spend their twilight years all alone and are exposed to emotional neglect and to lack of physical and financial support. This clearly reveals that ageing has become a major social challenge and there is a need to give more attention to the care and protection for the older persons. Though the parents can claim maintenance under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the procedure is both time-consuming as well as expensive. Hence, there is need to have simple, inexpensive and speedy provisions to claim maintenance for parents.
2. The Bill proposes to cast an obligation on the persons who inherit the property of their aged relatives to maintain such aged relatives and also proposes to make provisions for setting up oldage homes for providing maintenance to the indigent older persons.
The Bill further proposes to provide better medical facilities to the senior citizens and provisions for protection of their life and property.
3. The Bill, therefore, proposes to provide for:-
(a) appropriate mechanism to be set up to provide need-based maintenance to the parents and senior citizens
(b) providing better medical facilities to senior citizens
(c) for institutionalization of a suitable mechanism for protection of life and property of older persons.
(d) setting up of oldage homes in every district.
4. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objectives.
Legal Right: Maintenance is the legal right of every parent and senior citizen. Abandonment and neglect of seniors is a cognizable offence. The offender is liable to be punished with imprisonment upto 3 months or fine upto Rupees Five Thousand (Rs.5000) or both.
Difference between Bill and Act
You might have noticed that the Statement of Objects & Reasons uses the phrase the Bill instead of the Act.
Well, that is because the Statement of Objects & Reasons is prepared when the draft of proposed legislation in the form of Bill is introduced in Parliament for discussion and approval. After approval from both houses of Parliament this draft goes to the President for his assent.
Bill is actually another name for the draft of proposed legislation. It is only after obtaining President’s assent that the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.
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› Benefits, Concessions and Schemes for Senior Citizens in India
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