The Act mandates that all those children who have abandoned their parents or have made them the subject of neglect in their homes will have to face penal provisions and imprisonment of up to three months or a fine of Rs 5000 or both. Under the Act, the Delhi government is starting nine tribunals across the city to take up the cases of senior citizens and address reconciliation and maintenance issues. It will be implemented soon after the notification of the tribunals on October 1.
All nine tribunals will be headed by additional district magistrate rank officers while two members each will be drawn from social sector. These tribunals will have powers to issue summons to children and relatives of the elderly seeking help and direct police to take action.
Besides having the power to invoke penal provisions, the tribunals can also ask children or relatives to provide maintenance of up to Rs 10,000 monthly to senior citizens. However, the prime role of the Act and the tribunal is to toe a reconciliatory line. That's why, sources said, conciliation officers will be appointed to report on the status. The case will be referred to the maintenance or conciliation officer who will be appointed from among the district officers of the social welfare department. This official will contact the children of the elderly and try to reach a middle ground. If that does not work, the matter will be reported back to the tribunal.
To make the process hassle-free, the Act empowers senior citizens to contest their own case in the tribunal. In case, the victims are very old or disabled, they can authorise someone else. The tribunal can also take up a case suo motto. And to expedite the matter, it will be mandatory for tribunals to settle the case in three months. The decision can be challenged in an appellate body which the government proposes to activate over the next few months.
SOURCE: Times Of India
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