(Continued from Part 1)
HOW TO FILE AN APPLICATION :–
The application for maintenance has to be filed by the aggrieved parent or senior citizen himself. But if for some reasons he is incapable of filing an application then he can authorize any other person or organization to file an application on his behalf. Even the tribunal on receipt of some information is authorized to take cognizance ‘suo motu’. ( that is of its own)
AT WHICH PLACE AN APPLICATION CAN BE FILED :–
An application of seeking maintenance can be filed before the maintenance tribunal situated in any district where the parents or the senior citizen resides, or even in a district where the children or the relative as the case may be reside. It is the choice of the applicant where to file the application.
PROCEDURE AFTER FILING OF APPLICATION:–
As soon as the application is filed the tribunal issues notice to the respondent against whom the application has been filed. The notices can even be served with the aid of the police station of the concerned place. If the tribunal is not taking proper action on the application, a direction can be sought from the High court.
There is no need to worry In case the children or the relative are residing out of India, the notice will be served through the office of consulate of the respective country. Therefore the fact of children or the relative residing out of India is not a hurdle in getting the justice to the applicant.
When the respondent has reported his attendance, the tribunal may before proceeding further, refer the case to a ‘conciliation officer’ who is a person or representative of an organization or a maintenance officer appointed by the state government.
The tribunal shall after giving the parties an opportunity of hearing, hold an enquiry regarding the quantum of maintenance which can be awarded.
If the tribunal finds that the parents or senior citizen is unable to maintain himself, and the children or relatives of the parents or senior citizen are neglecting or refusing in their maintenance, the tribunal may order such children or relative to make a reasonable monthly allowance to be paid to such parent or senior citizen.
The maximum amount of maintenance which can be fixed is rupees ten thousand per month. The amount once fixed may be changed by the tribunal with any change in circumstances.
HOW EARLY THE APPLICATION IS LIKELY TO BE DECIDED:–
An application for maintenance has to be disposed off within ninety days. Only in exceptional circumstances this period can be extended, that too for a maximum period of thirty days.
WHAT TO DO DURING PENDENCY OF APPLICATION:–
When the application for maintenance has been filed, the tribunal has a power to order the child or the relative of a parent or the senior citizen to pay a particular sum of money to be paid to the parent or senior citizen, during the pendency of the application.
HOW THE MAINTENANCE ORDER IS ENFORCED:–
The tribunal making a maintenance order is required to give a copy free of cost to the parent or the senior citizen as the case may be. The order can be enforced in the same way as any maintenance order passed by the magistrate. A person who wilfully neglects to pay may even be sent to the prison. The amount ordered under this act by the tribunal has to be paid within thirty days of the order.
So long as the parties reside in the jurisdiction of the same tribunal, there is no problem in the execution of the order. It can be executed by the tribunal having the jurisdiction. However when the respondent resides in the jurisdiction of a different tribunal, the order can be enforced by the other tribunal.
WHAT IF THE APPLICANT IS DISSATISFIED BY THE ORDER OF THE TRIBUNAL :–
If any senior citizen or parent as the case may be, if is not satisfied by the order of the tribunal, he is entitled to file an appeal against such order. This appeal has to be filed within sixty days from the date of the order.
Though a period of sixty days is strictly prescribed, the appeal can still be entertained if the Appellate tribunal is satisfied that the applicant had a sufficient cause to have failed in filing the appeal in time. This being a welfare legislation, the Appellate authority would be liberal in considering the cause of delay.
The right to appeal rests only with the parent or the senior citizen. As is clear from the language of the section, the children or the relative even if dissatisfied do not have any right to appeal.
Thus the Act protects the welfare of the abandoned class of our society which unfortunately is being neglected by their own children and relatives.
Post by- Rajeev