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COVID-19: SC asks Centre, States to ensure timely pension, essentials to senior citizens

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New Delhi | August 4, 2020 1:12:09 PM IST
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Central and State governments to continue providing timely old age pension, mask, sanitisers and essential good and services to all senior citizens living alone during the COVID-19 crisis.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked the state governments to promptly respond on the matter and take necessary steps when senior citizens, especially those living alone amid the pandemic, make such requests.

The top court told the governments that they are obliged to take care of senior citizens who are living alone by ensuring that essential goods and services are provided to them.

It also directed the Central government to ensure that all the safety precautions for COVID-19 are followed in old age homes and caregivers there are well equipped with masks, personal protection equipment (PPE) kits, and sanitisers.

The order came on a fresh application filed on former Union Law Minister Ashwini Kumar's pending public interest litigation (PIL), which highlighted the plight of the elderly in the country.

During the hearing, Kumar told the bench that during COVID-19 situation food water, medicines, masks and other facilities should be provided to elderly people, especially those who are living alone as they are finding it difficult to access food, market and medicines.

Last year in December, the top court had directed the Centre to prepare a pan-India report on the number of old-age homes and the kind of medical and geriatric care facilities being provided to them. The court had also suggested a relook at the pension for the nation's elderly that is more in keeping with the times. (ANI)

 
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