The Central government is planning to enhance the jail term for those who abuse or abandon their elderly parents, to six months from the current three months, as per a senior official.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has proposed to widen the definition of children to include step or adopted children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, minors and grandchildren represented by their legal guardians, a senior ministry official told PTI. The Ministry is also reviewing Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
The Ministry has drafted the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Draft Bill, 2018, which whenever approved, will supersede the current Act and provide stringent penalties to the culprit. The provisions of the existing Act currently only include biological children and grandchildren.
The existing Act provides an upper limit of Rs 10,000 as maintenance amount for the elderly parents. However, the new draft proposes to make the said amount variable as people who are earning well can afford to spend more money for taking care of their parents, an official said.
"Those who earn well can and 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 and include safety and security of parents," an official told PTI.
In case, the children refuse or neglect to take care of them, elderly parents can approach a Maintenance Tribunal.
(With PTI inputs)