CHANDIGARH: The new year brings good cheer for ageing parents whose children ill-treat them and throw them out of their house.
The Punjab government is set to amend its Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 to enhance security for the elderly and fill loopholes in the Act.
The Act was adopted and notified in 2008 after the Union government passed it, but its lacks strict provisions.
The reason for amending the Act is that incidents of children throwing out parents of their houses have increased, and more children are demanding their share in properties.
Currently, children can be imprisoned for throwing out parents, but with the amendment, the Punjab government will be able to remove the children from the house and give its possession to the parents.
It is also being proposed that the erring child will have to give 20-30 per cent of his/her income to them via direct bank transfer.
The state government is contemplating copying or adopting an Act modified by the Assam government. Officials of the Department of Social Welfare have been told to study the Assam Act and draft harsher rules.
The government can also earmark a room for parents in the house. If it is a one-room house, the children will be told to move out. If the child does not comply, he/she can be jailed for six months.
As per the Act, the deputy commissioner of the district will take the final decision as the state government hasn’t formed a tribunal for it.
However, an official said it might be difficult to make children working in the private sector pay 20-30 per cent of their salaries to their parents. The government is mulling a way out as per their income tax returns.
A S Khaira, chairman of Federation of Senior Citizen Association, Punjab, said the Acts are not implemented properly due to vested interests. “If the Act is amended on the basis of the Assam government’s Act and is implemented, then no parent will be thown out of their property,” he said.