Former Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar is the petitioner-in-person before the Supreme Court of India. And the relief sought? The implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act of 2007, and establishment of adequate old age homes in each district in the country..Last week, a Bench presided by Chief Justice TS Thakur issued notice to the Central government in the matter..In his petition, Kumar has given details of the different schemes in place for the benefit of senior citizens. Relying on a study conducted by Help Age India in 12 major cities, Kumar has stated in his petition that 60% of elderly have been verbally abused, 48% have been physically abused, and 35% have been economically abused..One of the major grievance of Kumar is that despite the enactment of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 (MWP Act), the same has remained a dead letter as the key provisions of the same have not been implemented..“[T]here has been a constant increase in the problems faced by the elderly in India, which range from financial dependence to expensive health care, which clearly indicates that the MWP Act has not been able to effectively cater the problems faced by elderly in India. Furthermore, since the implementation of the MWP Act is left to the whims and fancies of the State Government. Particularly, even where the State Government have notified the MWP Act, there is no proper full-time authority, which exercises the Original as well as Appellate Jurisdiction under the MWP Act. The MWP Act, though framed with the best of intentions would yet remain a dead letter…”.The petitioner has also touched upon the Integrated Programme for Persons under which financial assistance is provided to Panchayati Raj Institutions/local bodies and NGOs for running and maintenance of Old Age homes, Day Care Centres etc..“However, the number of Old Age Homes supported under Integrated Programme for Older Persons (IPOP) has been on the decline over the last couple of years. In 2011-2012 under the scheme 362 old age homes were being supported by the Central Government. In 2012-2013 the number of old age homes declined to 269, which further declined to 207 in 2013 -2014.”.The sheer inadequacy of old age homes is another issues pointed out by the petitioner. As per the petition, the Standing Committee on Social Welfare and Empowerment (2013-2014) had raised concerns about the inadequacy and uneven distribution of Old Age Homes in the country. The Secretary of Social Welfare and Empowerment deposed as follow before the Standing Committee:.” ……..The main problem is that currently we are not funding construction of Old Age Homes. We are supporting the running of Old Age Homes. So that is a major cause of concern. Therefore, we have asked the State Governments if they could ensure and many State Governments have done it, that Old Age Homes are there and then the running can be supported under IPOP.”.The petitioner has contended that the all these amount to a violation of right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution..“In an expansive interpretation of the scope and ambit of Article 21 of the Constitution of India this Hon’ble Court has in a number of decisions, held that the “Right to Life enshrined in Article 21 means right to have something more than survival and not mere existence or animal existence. It includes all those aspects of life which go to make a man’s life meaningful, complete and worth living”..He has also cited Article 41 which makes it an obligation on the State to ensure welfare of the elderly. Based on the above he has sought a direction to be issued to the governments to establish adequate number of old age homes in each district in the country. He has also sought implementation and enforcement of Integrated Programme for Older Persons scheme to protect and provide adequate safeguards to the elderly..Besides the Central government, Kumar has arraigned all States as party to his petition. However, the court has, currently, issued notice only to the Centre. Chief Justice Thakur said that the court will first consider the Centre’s response before deciding whether to seek the response of the States or not.