Bangalore: Maharashtra’s state cabinet has come up with a new name-and-shame policy for adults who abandon their parents. The policy states that those who illtreat their parents and leave them to take shelter in old-age homes will be mentioned in the 'defaulter list', reports Chittaranjan Tembhekar for The Times of India. Their names would be widely publicized and will appear in newspapers for the shameful act.
According to the rule, anybody who is of 65 years or more is defined as an elderly person.
However, every adult will not become a target of this policy. It clearly states 'children of those parents who have to live in old-age homes because their wards are not taking care of them will be put on the list.'
TOI reports that Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, have enforced wards to look after their parents and if they fail to do so, strict actions will be taken against them.If a person does not follow the orders, he/she will also be punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
The state’s policy to help out aged folks of the society also speaks about the kind of facilities that the elders should receive. It mentions that all basic facilities should be made available for the elderly, and there will be a change in certain laws so that the elders get the best amenities at existing co-operative housing societies.
"The lives of elders are being affected by modern-day lifestyle, the stress of whether their children will look after them and financial worries. So, apart from care and counselling, we will ensure they get good amenities in housing societies and new townships by amending the Town Planning Act," Chavan said.
IPS officer-turned lawyer Y P Singh says that unless there is a rigid law framed on this principle, the state’s act of shaming adults will continue to be challenged in the court.
"There are cases where parents go to old-age homes on their own because they offer the best of healthcare facilities. If children are financing that as per their parents' wishes, then any action under the policy may not stand legal scrutiny as it might violate fundamental rights," he said.