KOCHI:The Kerala High Court on Friday sought the view of the Government on a petition against the misdeeds being practiced in old age homes, often leaving the hapless senior citizens at the mercy of the owners of the homes. The petition was filed by Lakshmikutty, 67, of Vadakkanchery, Palakkad, who was an inmate of the St Jude Old Age Home run by Rajeswari S Pillai of Kottayam. The petitioner is a widow who does not have children to take care of her.
She chose the St Jude Old Age Home while searching of a safe place to spent the rest of her life. She deposited Rs 7 lakh as demanded by the authorities of the old age home, and was compelled to sign an agreement that she shall forfeit the deposit if she left the home on her own.
They also compelled the petitioner to sign another agreement, under which the old age home would have complete authority over her dead body after death, including the right to hand it over to any medical college. The petitioner alleged that during the stay, the owners of the old age home allegedly misbehaved with her and ill-treated her. “It was their intention to make me leave the place, so that they could get the Rs 7 lakh I had deposited,” she submitted.Later, when the petitioner decided to leave the place, the owners asked her to signs some papers, including blank papers, which she obliged.
The petitioner sought a directive to the Government to ensure the deposit amount is reimbursed to her. She sought a directive to take effective steps to close down the illegal old age homes that have mushroomed all over the State.