RIGHTS OF SENIOR CITIZENS

INTRODUCTION

Aging is a natural process, which leads to the weakening of the body and the mind. It is the duty of the family as well as of the state to take care of the senior citizens. Ironically, in India, senior citizens are not aware of their human rights due to the high prevalence of illiteracy and lack of awareness. The trend of nuclear family excluded aged parents from the purview of family. The care and protection of senior citizens are completely overlooked. They are prevented from claiming fundamental amenities of life. Social segregation, financial maltreatment, medicinal services, disregard are their regular encounters. Numerous old are fleeing from their homes and residing in an old age home as they don’t get respect from their own family. The majority of senior citizens are in a potentially vulnerable situation. There is such time as well where children did not even attend the funeral of their parents. They are living in despicable condition.Human Rights are the basic rights that fundamentally and inherently belong to each individual. Human rights are freedoms established by custom or international agreements that impose standards of conduct on all nations. Thus, it is Fundamental rights which human being possesses by the fact of being human, and which are neither created nor can be abrogated by any government or any other person.

RIGHTS OF SENIOR CITIZENS

While senior citizens enjoy the same rights as everyone else, some rights are particularly a few rights that are especially pertinent to the experience of aging. Right to freedom from discrimination- based on age or any other status, in all aspects of life including employment and access to health care, and social services many senior citizens are routinely treated differently because of their age. For example-a requirement that all employees are there from the young generation will result in discrimination against those who belong to the senior citizen’s group. Right to freedom from violence-The expanded physical weakness of senior citizens causes violence and abuse at home, in care settings, or in times of conflict. Misuse may appear as discrete disregard; street crime; verbal, sexual, money related maltreatment; and mental or physical abuse. Right to health- Some measures are important to guarantee the assurance of the privileges of senior citizens concerning wellbeing. These incorporate the privilege to a sensible personal satisfaction, data, security, individual respectability, and opportunity of development. For some, health services are too costly to afford, due to which they are denied treatment and care because of age-based criteria. Health and Medical consideration should target mitigating the impediment of maturing and likewise at infusing the spirit of self- confidence. Very old persons need to be given specific attention through proper health care and counseling.

Right to financial security- financial security is considered as one of the significant regions for different income groups. It guarantees financial security to all older persons living Below Poverty Line under the Old Age Pension Scheme. It also incorporates modification of month to month benefits at regular intervals; authoritative issues of the old-age benefits; better returns from the Provident Fund. Advancement of income-generating activities after retirement and the rights of senior citizens to be upheld by their children are also reported as part of their financial security. Right to property and inheritance- Senior citizens have the right to the inheritance of their property. There are cases where after transferring the property to their children’s senior citizens are thrown from their own house by their children. Therefore, till when they are alive property should not be transferred to the children for their security and if they get threats to do such thing then they must complain about the same. There are several protections available to senior citizens under various laws. Right to maintenance- A senior citizen who is unable to maintain himself/herself from his/her own earning or out of the property claimed by him is entitled to get relief under the Act. In the case of Dattatrey Shivaji Mane V Lilabai Shivaji Mane it was held that the Senior Citizen Act permits the senior citizens who are unable to maintain themselves from earning or the property to apply for relief not only against children but also grandchildren. In the case of Senior Citizen Welfare Organization V State of Uttarakhand the state failed to maintain the adequate old age homes, mandatory directions were issued and held that every senior citizen has the Right to Live with Dignity. In the case of Sunny Paul V State NCT of Delhi it was held that the claim for eviction is maintainable by a senior citizen. In the case of Pramod Ranjankar v. Arunashankar Court held about the Right of Senior Citizen and Eviction of Abusive Children. 

PROTECTION OT THE SENIOR CITIZENS UNDER VARIOUS LAWS

Constitutional Protection: Article 41 of the Constitution of India provides provision for the betterment of old aged people. As per this article, the state is entitled to give open help in the matter of senior citizens under its financial limit .
Protection under Personal Laws-Under Hindu law- Section 20 of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 states if a person’s parents are not able to maintain their livelihood from earning or other property, then they are entitled to receive maintenance from the child .
Under Muslim law- As indicated by the Muslim Law, it is the obligation of both the children’s son and daughter to take care of their parents. The Islamic rule expresses that as guardians are obliged to care for the upkeep of their kids, youngsters are additionally obliged to care for the support of their parents in the same manner.
Under Christian and Parsi laws- The Christians and Parsis have no provisions under the accommodating laws for the maintenance of their parents. But if the senior citizens think that they require maintenance then they can seek the help of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Under the Code of Criminal Procedure-Section, 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was inserted for providing maintenance to parents. Under this section, the parent needs to establish the fact that the person has been neglected by their children, or the person is denied maintenance. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is secular law, applicable to any religion or community. Under this Section, married girls are even liable for maintaining the parent’s.

Protection under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007-The objective behind the enactment of this act was to give equity and justice to the senior citizens as well as to look after their welfare. This Act provides shelter to senior citizens economic, speedy trial to the senior citizens to get their right of maintenance. This Act applies to all the citizens of India, who have crossed the age of 60 years. A portion of the significant arrangements of the Act are examined thus. A childless senior citizen can guarantee support from any relative who have his property or who might acquire it. The state government is coordinated to comprise a council which would hear the cases with respect to upkeep. The most extreme support stipend is to be indicated by the state government which ought not to surpass 10,000 every month. There is the arrangement of detainment if an individual defaults in the installment of upkeep according to the request for the council. The intrigue against the request for the court can be made to the re-appraising council inside a time of 60 days. The council may direct a rundown. The gatherings can’t draw in a legitimate expert for the procedures to reduce the expense of the procedures. The Act accommodates foundation of at any rate one mature age home in each area with an ability to shield 150 senior citizens. Senior citizens can likewise drop the exchange of his property by will or blessing by applying to the council. The Act endorses discipline for the surrender of guardians or senior citizens by an individual who is obligated to deal with them.

Advantages under Tax Laws
Senior citizens are qualified for certain tax reductions too. A portion of the advantageous arrangements of examined thus.

The personal assessment chunks are diverse for senior citizens and very senior citizens. Pay up to 3 lakhs for senior citizens and 5 lakhs for super-senior citizens is tax-exempt while 10% of annual expense is imposed on the pay of 3-5 lakhs in the event of senior citizens. (Senior citizens: over 60 years old, super seniors citizens: over 80 years old) The derivation took into account installment of clinical protection premium is 20,000 for senior citizens under Section 80D of Income Tax Act, 1961. On the off chance that the senior citizen doesn’t have business salary, they are absolved from covering Advance duty. They are just needed to cover self-appraisal charge. Allowance under area 80D as to derivation for the treatment of determined infirmity is 60,000 for senior citizens. The sum got by a senior citizen under hold contract plot is absolved from personal duty.

CONCLUSION:

Old age is constantly contrasted with the adolescence. It is difficult for parents to take care of their children, to meet their expenses but they still do with all their hearts. Therefore, it is the duty of children as well to take care of their old parents or senior citizens. The government is progressively worried about the more youthful age as they are the pathway to advancement. But it should not forget the people who contributed their whole life to the government of India and for the country.
Senior citizens, in spite of their number, collective wisdom and experience will continue to be ignored and marginalized, unless they unite— Kofi Annan.

References:

  1. Dr. Anand K Deshmukh, The rights of old age persons in India: A challenging facet of human rights, Volume 3, IJL, Pg, no.-148, July 2017
  2. DR. SHASHI NATH MANDAL, PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF OLDAGE PERSON: A DYNAMIC PERSPECTIVE, July 7, 2011, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1707583
  3. Agewell Foundation, HUMAN RIGHTS OF OLDER PEOPLE IN INDIA-A REALITY CHECK, July 2014.
  4. Marthe Fredvang and Simon Biggs, The Rights of Older Persons, Protection and Gaps under Human Rights Law, Aug. 2012, https://social.un.org/ageing-working-group/documents/fourth/Rightsofolderpersons.pdf
  5. Dr. Anand K Deshmukh, The rights of old age persons in India: A challenging facet of human rights, Volume 3, IJL, Pg, no.-148, July 2017
  6. SOCIAL SECURITY MEASURES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS IN INDIA, https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/183153/8/07%20chapter%202.pdf
  7. Agewell Foundation, HUMAN RIGHTS OF OLDER PEOPLE IN INDIA-A REALITY CHECK, July 2014
  8. AIR 2018 Bom 229
  9. AIR 2018 UK
  10. AIR 2018 Del.
  11. AIR 2018 Chh 150
  12. Article 41 of the Constitution of India
  13. Section 20 of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956
  14. Agewell Foundation, HUMAN RIGHTS OF OLDER PEOPLE IN INDIA-A REALITY CHECK, July 2014
  15. Diganth Raj Sehgal, Rights of Senior Citizens, Aug.22, 2019, https://blog.ipleaders.in/rights-senior-citizens-2/#:~:text=The%20older%20people%20are%20entitled,should%20not%20be%20treated%20inhumanely.
  16. Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973
  17. Agewell Foundation, HUMAN RIGHTS OF OLDER PEOPLE IN INDIA-A REALITY CHECK, July 2014
  18. Rajnandini, What are the Rights of Senior Citizens, Jna.13,2016, https://blog.ipleaders.in/rights-senior-citizens/
  19. Rajnandini, What are the Rights of Senior Citizens, Jna.13,2016, https://blog.ipleaders.in/rights-senior-citizens/

AUTHOR:

ADITI DHAMDHERE

MODERN LAW COLLEGE, PUNE UNIVERSITY