The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007 (“Act”) aims to provide efficient provisions for the maintenance and welfare of the senior citizen. The welfare of parents and senior citizens is guaranteed and recognized under the Indian Constitution and are now further reaffirmed. 

Who can apply for maintenance under MWPSCA?

The following persons to file an application for maintenance:

  • The parents/senior citizen who is unable to maintain themself from their own earning or property
  • If they are unable to do so, any voluntary association registered under The Societies Registration Act or any other person by law may apply on their behalf.
  • The tribunal can on its own motion start the process.

Against whom the application can be filed?

The application may be filed against one or more persons, which may include:

  • Children
  • Relatives (any legal heir of a childless senior citizen who is not a minor)
  • Any other concerned parties. 

The obligation of the children or relative extends to the needs of the senior citizen so that they may lead a normal life.

Jurisdiction and Procedure of application

  1. The application may be filed against any child or relative in any district (a) where the senior resides, or last resided; or (b) where the child or relative resides.
  2. The Tribunal will summon the child or relative against whom the application is filed. 
  3. The Tribunal may refer applications to a Conciliation Officer to see if an amicable settlement is possible. The Conciliation Officer is bound to submit his findings within one month and if an amicable settlement has been arrived at, the Tribunal will pass orders to that effect. 

Proposed amendments to the Act 

The proposed amendments to the Act aim to bring in key changes to improve India’s geriatric care and coverage. Some of the key changes that the new amendments aim to introduce are:

  • “Children” will include stepchildren, adoptive children, children-in-law, and the legal guardians of minor children.
  • “Relative” will include minors, represented by their legal guardians.
  • “Parents” will include parents-in-law, and grandparents.
  • “Maintenance” will mean provision of food, clothing, residence, medical attendance, and treatment, and will additionally include the provision of healthcare, safety, and security for parents and senior citizens to lead a dignified life, and other amenities necessary for the physical and mental well-being of a senior citizen. 

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