Shimla: To plug any loopholes in the Parents Maintenance Act, 2002, and make it more stringent the state government was re-examining the whole law and was fine-tuning it in accordance with the central act passed on the subject, Sarveen Choudhary stated in the Vidhan Sabha.
Responding to a question by Satpal Satti of BJP during question hour, the social justice and empowerment minister said that Himachal Pradesh was the first state to enact a Parents Maintenance law way back in 2002. The central legislation on the issue was done after that.
“To make the law more stringent and so that it be of more use to senior citizens, both the central and state acts had been sent to the law department and were being examined, she said.”
The minister let the house know that there though there had been no violation of the Act in Himachal Pradesh, but in the last three years ending 15 Jan 2009, as many as 80 complaints from affected persons had been received.
In 30 cases children of the elderly parents were asked to give maintenance allowance, 16 cases had been disallowed and in 22 cases a compromise was reached between the parents and their children. The 12 cases that were pending were under consideration, Choudhary said.
The minister went onto say that since the state Act did not have certain clauses, which the central Act had, it had become necessary to re-examine it so that a new act could be tabled which would be make the law more effective.
Whereas there was a provision in the central act for the government or a concerned department to take suo-motto action in any case where parents were being neglected, under the Himachal law, a formal complaint had to be made for taking necessary action, which did not always prove effective enough, she said.
In reply to a question by Thakur Kaul Singh of Congress that was put up by Gangu Ram Musafir as the former was absent, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that three suicides had taken place in a private dental college at Paonta Sahib and cases had been registered against 14 people. The health department had asked the college administration to ensure that such incidents were not repeated.
However, he said that instances came to light that when parents admitted their children in professional colleges by giving capitation fees, while the children lacked merits, there were psychological causes which led to such incidents.
The colleges have been advised to have clinical psychologists as counselors to guide the children in such cases so that they can have a positive attitude and outlook, he added.
Responding to a supplementary question by Harsh Vardhan of Congress alleging that there was exploitation, including sexual exploitation of girls in the Paonta Sahib dental college, Dhumal said that this aspect would be looked into and would be dealt seriously with after a thorough probe.
In reply to a question by Gangu Ram Musafir of congress , the chief minister said that power banking had yielded positive results.
The arrangement that Himachal Pradesh entered into with Punjab and Haryana resulted into no winter power shortages, even for the industrial sector, for the first time in 30 years.
There were no power outages in any sector this year, said Dhumal.