Lack of basic rights for the aged a concern: Sc

Prelims level : Policies, Acts and Amendments Mains level : GS2:mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
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  • The Supreme Court has said the government should provide adequate economic support to the aged people for their better livelihood.


  • The Supreme Court termed the rights of the rising elderly population of the country an “emerging situation” not envisaged even in the Constitution.
  • It further added that the government could not tighten its purse strings in the name of “economic budgeting” to explain the inadequate welfare provided to senior citizens and the aged.
  • It said that it was a statutory right of every aged person under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007 to be provided dignity, health and shelter. All the three are important components which make the fundamental right to life under Article 21.
  • It ordered the Centre to obtain the “necessary information” from all the State governments and the Union Territories about the number of old age homes in each district and file a status report by January 31.
  • This data would be necessary to prevent them from mishaps and other unforeseen events
  • And also ordered the Centre to obtain details from the States about the medical and geriatric care facilities available to senior citizens in each district.
  • The court directed that the Centre should prepare a plan of action for giving publicity to the provisions of 2007 Act and ensure that the State governments carry out and execute the provisions of the law.

About Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007:

  • A legislation initiated by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
  • It was enacted in order to provide more effective provision for maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens.
  • This Act makes it a legal obligation for children and heirs to provide maintenance to senior citizens and parents, by monthly allowance.
  • This Act also provides simple, speedy and inexpensive mechanism for the protection of life and property of the older persons.
  • The Ministry has drafted the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Draft Bill, 2018, to expand its scope and provide for more stringent penalties.
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