CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to take action to ensure that all old age and retirement homes are registered and ordered the closure of unregistered ones.
Passing orders recently on a batch of writ petitions and a contempt of court petition, a division bench of justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad also directed the government to inspect the homes to ensure proper functioning.
The government shall take steps to inspect all old age homes in the State and ensure implementation of the spirit of the impugned GO, which has now been upheld, the bench said, adding that, after inspections, the homes shall be asked to comply with the directives and rectification of deficiencies if found.
The government shall take steps to monitor the day-to-day functioning of the homes. Directing the government to ensure old age/retirement home was registered and a record of inmates as well as the staff was maintained, the judges ordered,
"The government must ensure that non-registered homes do not continue to function and must act on any complaint by any person in this regard, after necessary inspection," he said. The government was also ordered to establish a 'grievance cell' for senior citizens while ensuring compliance with the GO Ms 83 which is now being upheld by the court.
The petitions were filed for and against the GO of the Social Welfare and Nutritious Meals Programme Department providing for mandatory registration of the old age homes, requiring them to comply with Rule 16 of the Tamil Nadu Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules, 2009. Rule 16 advices on minimum area per inmate, ventilation and other safety/accessibility provisions.