The move is part of the state government’s plan for implementation of Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens Act that was passed by Parliament last year and for which the state government has already framed rules. The rules were cleared by the state Cabinet on Tuesday.
“While the sub-divisional tribunals will be headed by an officer of a rank no less than a sub-divisional officer, the district tribunals, which will be regarded as appellate tribunals, will be headed by an officer of the level of a district magistrate. An aggrieved person who wishes to move the tribunals can take the help of the social welfare officer,” Rinchen Tempo, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department, told The Indian Express.
The amount of allowance that is likely to be awarded by the tribunals should not exceed Rs 10,000, according to the official.
In case an order of the tribunal is not complied with within three months of the issue of the order, the aggrieved person can file an application before the tribunal. It will then issue a warrant directing the offender to pay the allowance. If the person again fails to comply, the tribunal can order for imprisonment of up to one month.
At the tribunals, however, neither of the parties can take the help of a lawyer.
The official also said that a workshop will be organised in Kolkata on December 30 where the topic of “reverse mortgage” for senior citizens that was announced by Union Finance Ministry will be discussed. The workshop will be inaugurated by Union social welfare secretary A M Acharya.
According to the scheme, a senior citizen who is affluent can mortgage his or her property to a bank which will pay the person a monthly sum of money for the person’s livelihood.
This will be regarded as a loan to the concerned person. After his or her death the spouse will continue to get the money. And after the death of both of them, the bank will make an assessment of how much money was paid to the couple and they will deduct the money from the price of the property. The remaining sum will be paid to the legal heir.