दिल्ली उच्च न्यायालय विधिक सेवाएँ समिति



Who is a Senior Citizen?

In terms of Section 2(h) of the Act, a senior citizen means a person who is a citizen of India, who has attained age of 60 years of above.

What is a Senior Citizen entitled to in terms of the Act?

A senior citizen is entitled to the following:

  • Maintenance, which includes food, clothing, residence, medical attendance and treatment;
  • Maintenance allowance, not exceeding Rs. 10,000/- pm
  • Who is held responsible for Maintenance of the Senior citizen, including the parents in terms of the Act?

    Mainly, the responsibility is placed upon the children and grand children (not being minors) of Senior citizens. However, in case of childless senior citizens, relatives who are legal heirs, provided they are in possession of property of such senior citizens or would inherit the property of such senior citizens, are also liable.

    What is the procedure for claiming maintenance under the Act?

    In terms of Section 5 of the Act, a senior citizen or parents may apply to the Maintenance Tribunal, seeking maintenance in the proper format. If such senior citizen is incapable to apply, application can be made by any other person or organization authorized by him/her.

    Has the Delhi Government constituted any Maintenance Tribunal in terms of the Act?

    Yes, the Delhi Government has established 11 District Tribunal Courts in the North, Central, South, New Delhi, South West, West, North East, East, North West, Shahdara and South East District., each of these Tribunals is headed by the concerned District Magistrate, which makes it imperative for their adult children or ward to look after and provide maintenance to senior citizens.

    Is there any prescribed format in which the application for maintenance has to be made before the Maintenance Tribunal in terms of the Act?

    Yes, Rule 5 provides for prescribed format.

    Does a Senior citizen have to engage services of an advocate in order to seek maintenance before the Tribunal?

    No. The senior citizens can themselves present their cases before the Tribunal and the Appellate Authority. In fact, Section 17 of the Act bars representation by a legal practitioner. They can seek assistance from the Maintenance officer to represent them.

    Are the Maintenance Tribunals empowered to make interim maintenance allowance orders?

    Yes, in terms of Section 5(2) of the act, such powers have been specifically vested in the tribunals.

    Do Senior Citizens or Parents have to pay any court fees before Maintenance Tribunals or Appellate Tribunal for seeking benefits under the act?

    No, there is no such requirement prescribed.

    Is there any appeal against the decision of the Maintenance Tribunal?

    Yes, in terms of Section 16 of the Act, any senior citizen or a parent aggrieved by an order of the Tribunal may appeal to the Appellate Tribunal. .

    Is there a limit on the maintenance allowance that can be awarded by the Maintenance Tribunal or the appellate Authorities?

    Yes, in terms of Section 9(2) of the Act, read with Rule 14, maximum maintenance allowance which can be awarded is Rs. 10,000/- per month.

    How can the Maintenance Order made by the Tribunal or the Appellate Authority be enforced?

    In terms of Section 11 of the Act, the maintenance order can be executed in the manner provided in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. This means that the Police machinery can be deployed to enforce the maintenance orders.

    Is there any time limit for the Maintenance Tribunal or the Appellate Authority to dispose of the proceedings seeking maintenance?

    Yes. Section 5(4) of the Act requires the Maintenance Tribunal to dispose of the proceedings within 90 days of the service of application upon the opposite party. However, this period can be extended once for a maximum period of 30 days in exceptional circumstances and for the reasons to be recorded in writing. The Appellate Authority must also endeavor to dispose of the proceedings within one month from receipt of an Appeal in terms of Section 16(6) of the Act.

    What remedies does a senior citizen w.r.t. his property have if he is being harassed or is being not maintained properly by his sons/daughter-in-laws, though they are residing with him in his property?

    In this respect, the provisions of this Act and the Rules enable a senior citizen who is facing ill treatment or his not being maintained by his sons/daughter-in-laws or daughter or any other Legal Heir, who is residing with him in his property, to make an application before the Dy. Commissioner / District Magistrate of his district for eviction of such sons/daughter-in-laws/daughter or Legal Heir, from his property (whether ancestral or self acquired).

    What are the nature of proceedings before the District Magistrate?

    The proceedings are summary in nature and if after hearing both the parties the District Magistrate is of the opinion that senior citizen is being harassed by his sons/daughter-in-laws/any other Legal Heirs and yet is occupying the property of the senior citizen, he shall issue an eviction order against the concerned persons.

    Can a Senior Citizen or a parent seek return of the property transferred by them to their children or relatives?

    Yes. In terms of Section 23 of the Act where any senior citizen who, after commencement of the Act, has transferred by way of a gift or otherwise, the property, subject to the condition that the transferee shall provide the basic amenities and basic physical needs to the senior citizens and if such transferee refuses or fails to provide the same, the transfer of property shall be deemed to have been made by fraud or coercion or under undue influence and shall at the option of the senior citizens be declared void by the Tribunal.

    Whether exposure and abandonment of a Senior citizen constitutes a criminal offence?

    Yes, in terms of Section 24 of the Act, whoever, having the care or protection of a senior citizen leaves, such senior citizen in any place with an intention of wholly abandoning such senior citizen, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or fine, which may extend to Rs. 5,000/- or both.