Laws Regarding Senior Citizens


Under the Maintenance and Welfare of Senior Citizens Act, 2007(“Act”), some relevant Parts and Sections dealing with various areas of concern to Senior Citizens are provided below.


Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens:

Section 4. Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens

A senior citizen including a parent who is unable to maintain himself from his own earning or property owned by him, shall be entitled to make an application under section 5 of the Act in case of -

i. parent or grand-parent, against one or more of his children who is not a minor

ii. a childless senior citizen, against such of his relatives as have been referred to in the Act.

When a relative of a senior citizen has sufficient means, he or she shall maintain such senior citizen if he is in possession of the property of such a senior citizen or if he would inherit the property of such senior citizen. If there are more than one relatives who are entitled to inherit the property of a senior citizen, the maintenance shall be payable by such relative in the proportion in which they would inherit his property.



Abandonment of senior citizens by their children:

Section 24. Exposure and abandonment of Senior Citizens

Any person who has the responsibility of taking care of or protecting a senior citizen, leaves such senior citizen in any place with the intention of abandoning him or her, such a person shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or fine which may extend to Rs. 5000/-or with both.



Property of the Senior Citizens Transferred to Children:

Section 23. Transfer of property to be void in certain circumstances.


A senior citizen is free to transfer his property to another person and at the same time place a condition upon him that he will fulfill the basic needs of the senior citizen out of the transferred property.

But if the receiver of the property refuses or fails to provide such amenities and physical needs, it shall be assumed that the transfer of such property was made by fraud or coercion or under undue influence and the senior citizen shall have the option to apply to the Tribunal to declare such a transfer void.



Jurisdiction and Procedure to File an Application:

Section 5. Application for maintenance

  1. An application for maintenance under section 4, may be made -
    1. by a senior citizen or a parent; or
    2. if he is incapable, by any other person or organisation/ voluntary association authorised by him; or
    3. the Tribunal may take cognizance on its own accord
  2. The tribunal may during the pendency of proceedings grant a monthly allowance.
  3. Once an application for maintenance is received, a notice of this application would be given to the children or relative after which the parties will be given an opportunity of being heard by the Tribunal. Once the parties have been heard, an inquiry will be conducted for determining the amount of maintenance.
  4. An application for maintenance may be filed against one or more persons.
  5. Where a maintenance order was made against more than one person, the death of one of them does not affect the liability of others to continue paying maintenance.
  6. If the children or relative, fail to comply with the maintenance order, action can be taken against them.


Section 6. Jurisdiction and Procedure

  1. The proceedings under Section 5 may be taken against any children or relative in any district -
    1. where he resides or last resided, or
    2. where children or relative resides.
  2. Once the Tribunal has received the application under Section 5, the Tribunal will take steps to procure the presence of children or relative against whom the application has been made.
  3. All evidence to such proceedings shall be taken in the presence of the children or relative against whom an order for payment of maintenance is proposed to be made, and shall be recorded in the manner prescribed for summons cases:



Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Section 125(1)(d). Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents.
This section casts a duty on children including married daughters to maintain their parents if the parents do not have the means to maintain themselves. The children will be under such a duty only if the parents prove that the children have sufficient means and has neglected or refused to maintain his the parent.


What are the responsibilities of the Police with respect to Senior Citizens?

If any complaint is lodged by a Senior Citizen with the police, then the police has to immediately act on the same and prevent abuse of the Senior Citizen either by his family or even by any other person.



Under The Hindu Adoption and Maintanace Act, 1956

A Hindu is under an obligation to maintain his/her infirm or aged parents if such parent/parents are incapable of maintaining themselves out of their own earnings or other property.



This information has been provided by ALMT Legal.