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Children expected to look after elderly parents: Punjab and Haryana High Court

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that children are expected to look after their elderly parents properly as mandated under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act-2007.

The HC Bench observed kids are often abandoning their parents after getting property from them
The senior citizen Act stipulated that property transfer will be deemed to have been made by fraud, coercion or under undue influence in case kids failed to take care of their parents
The Bench of Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Ashok Kumar Verma ruled it was not only a value-based principle, but also a bounden duty enshrined within the mandate of the Act.

The assertion came after the Bench observed it was often seen that children were abandoning their parents after getting property from them… The properties, at the option of the transferor, could be declared void by the maintenance tribunal set up under the Act.

The Bench added Section 23 (1) of the Act attempted to provide a dignified existence to the elderly people. The Act was an enabling lifeline for the aged parents and senior citizens, who became a neglected lot, after their children refused to look after them.

It asserted the Parliament enacted the maintenance Act to uphold an aged citizen’s dignity and respect. The state had serious concern about the challenge faced by the aged people. Besides physical vulnerabilities, they face emotional and psychological challenges and are totally dependent due to these frailties.

The Bench added the moral law formulated through the legislation was necessary to rationalise the well-being of all in society. The moral values that prevailed in the society in the past were accepted as universal values. “The state in its wisdom, considering the acceptance of these values, seeks to promote the common good through the Senior Citizens Act. These values carried duties and obligations.”

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