your Legal Advisor
Dear readers, this week Your legal advisor is Ishrat Hasan, Advocate, The Supreme Court of Bangladesh. She is Managing partner of the renowned law firm namely, 'The Law Consultant', Eastern Mansion, 67/9 Pioneer Road, Kakrail, Dhaka, which professionally deals mainly with corporate law, cyber Law, commercial law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies. She can be reached at - cell: 01521515654 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
My grandfather died leaving behind two sons. My father is his youngest son. Three years before my uncle died leaving his two sons and one daughter. All of them are educated and well established and live in the city. Months ago they came to see visit their father and stayed two days there.
Later they took him with them. Last week I heard that my uncle has been shifted to an old age home. I visited my uncle and found out that it was not his choice to stay in the old age home. My cousins left him there without his consent.
My uncle has sacrificed almost everything for the wellbeing of his sons and daughters; I simply cannot bear the pain he is undergoing right now. Is there no law that could compel the sons and daughters to maintain their parents?
Thank you so much for your query. This is very unfortunate that parents are being neglected by their children for whom once they had sacrificed everything.
Previously, maintaining parents was more like moral obligation rather than a legal one. But, in 2013, Bangladesh government has passed Maintenance of the Parents Act which is considered to be one of the contemporary and advanced laws in Bangladesh.
Before enactment of this law, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh put specific guidelines for maintaining parents. In the case of Jamila Khatun v Rostom Ali reported in 48 DLR (AD) 110, the court held that "Under Mohammedan Law, children in easy circumstances is bound to maintain their poor parents, although the later may be able to earn something for themselves. These poor parents may also file a suit in the Family Court for maintenance from their opulent children under the Ordinance of 1985."
Though previously, it was the son who was accountable to maintain their parents as well as take care of the other elderly members of their family, the Act of 2013 changed that notion. It has made both male and female children responsible to maintain their parents.
The Act stipulates that the parents must live with their children. Besides, no children shall compel their parents to live in old age home or separately and every child must provide a sufficient or reasonable amount for maintenance from their earnings if the parents do not live with the children (Section 3). Noncompliance of these provisions would be considered as offence. Though the Act has not determined the exact amount to be given as maintenance, the amount should not be absurdly less but adequately perfect.
Here regarding your problem, you can file a complaint before a first class Magistrate in nearby Chief Judicial Magistrate Court premises against your cousins.
Beforehand, for this you must obtain a written complaint from your uncle containing specific allegations without which such complaint will not be entertained.
Later, if the concerned Magistrate finds the accused guilty of violating the provision of this Act upon hearing, he may order fine up to one lakh taka. Failing which the accused shall be liable to the imprisonment up to three months.
Remember that these offences are cognizable, bail able and compoundable that means you can settle that outside of the court as well. I hope the above opinion meets your query.