Police help for harassed elderly parents
Incidents like children deserting elderly parents or assaulting them at home are not uncommon in Calcutta
- Published 7.11.19, 2:40 AM
- Updated 7.11.19, 2:40 AM
- 2 mins read
Senior citizens who are deprived of property and maintenance by their children and/or relatives can now get “Maintenance Claim” forms and guidance from police stations on The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
The city police’s community policing wing has collaborated with NGO HelpAge India to help senior citizens
in Calcutta who are deprived of their rights. Senior officers, along with the HelpAge
India director, advocacy, made the announcement on Thursday.
Incidents like children deserting elderly parents at public places or assaulting them at home are not uncommon in Calcutta and on its outskirts. There is no way, though, to quantify how many cases are reported every week or in a month because there is no official compilation of such data by police, an officer said.
This is the first time the city police are trying to make people aware of their rights against such atrocities by children and/or relatives.
“The elderly often don’t know which forum they should approach… they are confused because they do not want their children to be arrested but they want peace in their life,” Satyajit Bandopadhyay, the city police’s officer on special duty, said.
“In such situations, the police can always guide them and expedite the process of claiming their rightful maintenance.”
The act empowers parents and senior citizens to move against their children and/or relatives if they are deprived of maintenance or property claim. Such cases do not demand the presence of any lawyer to appear for them in the tribunal court.
An authorised NGO or a social welfare officer appointed by the state’s department of women and child development and social welfare can present their case before the tribunal court.
Police stations come under the jurisdiction of various tribunals such as the Controller of Vagrancy at Purta Bhavan.
Any person can seek maintenance claim forms from police stations in Calcutta, fill them and approach the respective tribunals for help.
In case a person cannot move a tribunal court, he/she can seek police help, Bandopadhyay said.
An officer of the city police’s community policing wing, which looks after the Pronam project for the elderly, said officers engaged with Pronam would interact with all members to make them aware of their rights and how they can tackle such a situation without spending money unnecessarily.
Those who choose to fight their case using the act can get legal assistance from the state free of cost and a maximum compensation of Rs 10,000.
The maximum punishment for abandonment of parents and senior citizens, according to the rule, can be three months in jail and/or fine of Rs 5,000, Anuradha Sen, director, advocacy, HelpAge India, said.
In case of violation of a tribunal order to bear maintenance cost, the accused can be jailed for a month or till payment of maintenance that is due.