HC seeks response on non-functioning of senior citizens maintenance panel

New Delhi, Dec 18 : The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Central and Delhi governments on a plea, seeking direction to ensure functioning of the senior citizens maintenance tribunal here.

The court asked the Delhi government to run an awareness programme on the rights and protection available to senior citizens and sought the proposed action plan on the issue, and posted the matter for hearing on January 30, 2018.

Besides praying for instructing the Delhi government to make the tribunal functional with immediate effect, the plea also sought direction for advertisement of the various schemes meant for senior citizens.

Filed by city-based social activist Hemant Goswami, he sought resumption of the Maintenance Tribunals and Appellate Tribunal, constituted under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.

The plea also sought a direction to the Delhi government for expeditious appointment of members to ensure proper and complete constitution of the Maintenance Tribunals and Appellate Tribunal within a specified time limit.

The petition, filed through advocate Mansi Sharma, also raised the issue that most of these tribunals were not senior citizen-friendly and most of the members are too young, without any real life experience to emphatise with the senior citizens.

Noting that The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 was meant to rescue the elderly from time-consuming rigors of civil courts by providing for a simple, speedy and inexpensive procedure for maintenance of parents and protection of life and property, it said that since the last one year, the working of the tribunal and its appellate body "has come to a standstill for want of proper notification of members in the tribunal and the process of notifying the members has gone into a never ending loop".

"This has resulted in untold misery and harassment to senior citizens unleashed by Delhi governments' inaction," said the plea.

It further stated that in all there are "over 500 cases pending in these maintenance tribunal for over a year", claiming that in the past one year, more than two senior citizens have also died while waiting for their turn to be heard in the tribunal.



Source: IANS