Prodded by the Punjab and Haryana High Court,the Chandigarh Administration has finally notified the Act to ensure welfare of senior citizens in the city. It took Chandigarh six years to notify the Act which was cleared by the Central government.
It was in 2007 that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act,2007 was brought into force by the Centre. The High Court had cornered the administration over non-implementation of the Act. The query was put after a former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court,Justice Shanti Sarup Dewan,had petitioned the High Court alleging harassment at the hands of his son. One-kanal house in Sector 11 is the bone of contention between the warring father-son duo.
Justice Dewan,85,had moved the High Court. He had raised the issue that the city lacks when it comes to provisions for protecting the rights of senior citizens. He had also highlighted how the administration was dragging its feet in notifying the senior citizens Act.
On Monday,advocate J S Toor,counsel for the UT Administration,moved an application to inform the High Court that the Act had been notified by the administration on August 20.
An affidavit was filed by Social Welfare department director Rajesh Jogpal who asserted that a special cell had been constituted to
look into the grievances of the senior citizens regarding the threat to their life and property.
The cell will be chaired by the Deputy Commissioner and has 13 members. The administration has also designated woman and child helpline for the senior citizens (1091). It would be functional 24X7.
The helpline would provide counselling to the senior citizens. The counsellors may refer the cases of senior citizens to Government Medical College and Hospital-32 and State Legal Services Authority for medical and legal services in case of emergency.
If the dispute is of serious nature and the counsellors fail to provide a solution,the dispute will be referred to the Deputy Commissioner. Accepting the affidavit,the High Court on Monday issued a notice to Justice (Retd) Shanti Sarup Dewan,asking him to respond.
On the last hearing,the High Court had made it clear that there was an immediate need to put in place the provisions of the said Act. The mediation ordered between Justice Dewan and his son had failed. The 85 years old had moved the High Court alleging animal existence at the hands of his son,Suvir Dewan.
However,Suvir had denied all the allegations blaming his close family members for creating differences between his father and him.