The Hush Post: A new legislation is being planned to increase the jail term for those who abuse or abandon their elderly parents. As per the new legislation, the new jail term will increase from the existing three months to six months.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, which is reviewing the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, has also endorsed broadening the definition of children to include adopted or step children, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, grandchildren and even minors represented by their legal guardians.
Under the existing act, only biological children and grandchildren are liable to be prosecuted.
The Ministry has drafted the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Draft Bill, 2018. Once this is approved, it will supersede the present act.
The draft Act also proposes to do away with an upper limit of Rs 10,000 per month as maintenance amount, thus making it variable.
Those who earn good salary should of course shell out higher amount for the upkeep of their parents. Also the definition of the term maintenance should go beyond providing food, clothing, housing, health care. In fact, it should also include safety and security of parents.