The Karnataka High Court on Monday sought clarification from the State government on whether senior citizens are entitled to receive a pension at their places of residence.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Vishwajith Shetty sought clarity on the issue after petitioner advocate Clifton D’Rozario informed the Court that the number of senior citizens who succumbed to COVID-19 was extremely high.
The Court also asked the State to place on record the procedure by which pension schemes are currently being disbursed to senior citizens, amid the pandemic.
On the topic of the increase in old-age pensions for senior citizens in the State, directed by the Supreme Court in Dr. Ashwani Kumar v. Union of India, the matter will have to be heard in detail, indicated the Bench.
During the hearing, D’Rozario relied on an order passed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) urging persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, and children below the age of 10, to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.
On hearing these submissions, the Bench told the State government,
“You (State) cannot expect senior citizens to go to banks for collection of pensions.”
The Court was hearing a plea seeking an increase in old-age pension for senior citizens in the State, as per the Supreme Court’s directions. The Court had issued a notice in the matter back in October.
The instant plea also seeks to protect senior citizens’ life and dignity by identifying their needs, conducting health camps, facilitating their access to healthcare and medication, and securing their right to food, pension, and social security.
The matter is expected to be taken up for further hearing later this month.