Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007( Central Act 56 of 2007)
Central Act 56 of 2007 was implemented in the State of Kerala with effect from 29.08.2009 ‘Kerala Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Rules 2009’ also was promulgated on 29.08.2009.
Revenue Divisional Officers (RDO) are appointed as presiding officers of Maintenance Tribunal under the Act for each Sub-division. District Collectors are appointed as presiding officers of Appellate Tribunal for each District. District Welfare Officers are designated as Maintenance Officers for each District. Panel of Conciliation Officers as contemplated under Section (6)6 of the Act is yet to be prepared and published.
Section 4 of Act provides that a senior citizen or parent unable to maintain himself/herself may make an application for maintenance to the Maintenance Tribunal. Such applications are to be filed in the case of parent or grand parent against one or more of his children and in the case of child less senior citizen against the relative who under law would inherit his property. The application is to be filed in form No. ‘A’ appended to the Rules. The Tribunal may also initiate proceedings for maintenance suo moto. On receipt of the application the same has be referred to Conciliation Officer who has to hold meetings with the two parties. With in one month of receipt of the reference the Conciliation officer shall return the papers received by him with report of settlement formula if any arrived by him or with a report of the steps taken by him for a settlement.
If the Conciliation Officers reports settlement the Tribunal shall pass a final order in termsof the settlement. If no settlement is reported the Tribunal has to pass an order for maintenance making in to consideration the following aspects :
- Amount needed by the applicant to meet his basic needs,
specially food, clothing, accommodation, and health care;
- Income of the opposite party;]
- Value of and actual and potential income from the property, if any, of the applicant which the opposite party would inherit and/or is in possession of .
The maximum amount that the opposite party may be ordered to pay is presently fixed as Rs 10,000/- ( Rupees ten thousand only)
Provisions are also there for preferring appeal against the orders passed by the Tribunal.
There is also bar for Lawyers for appearing for or against any of the parties before the Tribunal.