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Home > Know Your Rights > Rights of Senior Citizens
FAQ's | Landmark Judgements | Legal Frameworks


Q1.  Who are senior citizens?

A1.  Persons above the age of 60 years are regarded as senior citizens. However, the term can loosely mean to refer to all elderly persons.


Q2.  What are the rights of senior citizens?

A2.  Senior citizens constitute about 8% of the population of India. Rights of senior citizens are mostly to do with their advanced age. They have the right to proper maintenance, care and shelter. Also, since most of the senior citizens are retired from their jobs and are dependent on their children, they have a right to economic independence. Also, owing to advance age, they have a right to good health care. They should have the right to live with dignity and security in the society?


Q3.  What provisions have been made by Government to ensure the implementation of the rights of senior citizens?

A3.  Government has set up a pension fund for ensuring security for those persons who have been serving in the unorganized sector. Also, the government has  constructed old age homes and day care centers for every 3-4 districts and established resource centers and re-employment bureaus for people above 60 years. An act for the maintenance of senior citizens has also been passed by the Parliament.


Q4.  As a senior citizen, what privileges are provided by the government to me?

A4.  As a senior citizen, you are entitled to avail concessional rail/air fares for travel within and between cities, i.e.,30% discount in train and 50% in Indian Airlines. Also, you are entitled to get higher interest rates on fixed deposits in banks or any other savings scheme. Government has also provided for higher tax slabs for senior citizens to ensure their financial independence.


Q5.  I am a senior citizen dependant on my son who doesn’t take proper care of me. What should I do?

A5.  Under the Maintenance of Senior Citizens Act, you are entitled to claim maintenance from your son. Under Indian law it is the responsibility of a son to take care of his parents and their needs. You can also authorize some other person or organization to file for maintenance on your behalf, if you find yourself not well.


Q6.  Where should I file for maintenance under the said act?

A6.  The implementation of Maintenance of Senior Citizens Act is the responsibility of State government. A Tribunal for hearing the maintenance is set up by every state government. You can either file for the maintenance claim in the Maintenance Tribunal of your region, or you can approach the Family court and file a claim under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code.


Q7.  What relief can I expect from the Maintenance Tribunal under the Act?

A7.  The Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens Act provides for penalizing children who abandon their parents above 60 years of age, that could now invite imprisonment of up to three months or a fine of Rs 5,000. The judgment pronounced by the tribunal cannot be challenged in a civil court. The jurisdiction of civil courts is barred from entertaining any matter pertaining to this act. The maximum compensation or maintenance allowance that can be awarded is Rs 10,000 under this Act.


Q8.  I am a pensioner. My son doesn’t support me at all. Can I still claim maintenance from him under the Act?

A8.  If you are receiving pension which is enough to sustain yourself in the eyes of court, then you are not entitled to relief from your son. Only those parents can claim maintenance under the act from their children who have no means of income.

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