Justice S M Subramaniam offered the direction on finding that a petition filed by a retired employee of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, seeking to direct his son to pay up the maintenance of Rs.10,000 as granted by the Revenue Divisional Officer, Mannargudi Taluk, pending for the past five months. The maintenance had not been paid since the son had appealed against such an amount being fixed.
Pointing out that the very purpose and object of the senior citizens Act, is to give more attention to the care and protection for the older persons, Justice Subramaniam said “Prolongation and protraction of the application would cause prejudice to the livelihood of the elderly persons.” “The very purpose and object of the Act is to ensure that the aged persons are being maintained properly. Thus, the delay would result in denial of right and amounts to violation of the constitutional provisions of right to live, which is a fundamental right,” the court stressed.
Also noting that ageing has become a major social challenge and therefore, there is a need to give more attention on such aged persons, the court made it clear that appeals filed under the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, must be considered and disposed of by the competent authorities as expeditiously as possible and the execution must also be ensured by the competent authorities.
“Thus, the authorities are bound to act and in the event of keeping such applications pending, the same shall not only be construed as a lapse, but also considered as a dereliction of duty on the part of the competent authorities,” Justice Subramaniam stressed.
The petitioner, who had two daughters and a son, submitted that on providing education to all three children and on getting married, he had relinquished his works to the son.
But on refusing to take care of him, the son also usurped the property belonging to him by forcibly obtaining a settlement, the petitioner said.