NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Centre and state governments to ensure timely pensions to the elderly, besides ensuring availability of sanitisers, masks and PPE kits to them, wherever required, during the coronavirus pandemic. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justice R. Subhash Reddy said the requests from the elderly should be immediately attended to, and emphasised that old-age pension should be disbursed in a timely manner.
"We, in this application, which is specially confined to the COVID-19 crisis, direct that all old aged people who are eligible for pension should be regularly paid pension and those identified older people should be provided necessary medicines, masks, sanitisers and other essential goods by respective states," said the bench.
The top court asked the Centre to ensure that all COVID-19 safety precautions are followed and caregivers in old-age homes were well equipped with masks, PPE kits, and sanitisers.
"Further, as and when any individual request is made, the same shall be attended to by the administration with all promptness. The caregivers of those old-age homes should be provided personal protection and appropriate sanitisation should also be undertaken in the old-age homes," added the bench.
The apex court directions came on a petition filed by Congress' former Rajya Sabha member and senior advocate Ashwani Kumar, who argued that the older people have already been identified since most of them are getting pension from the states under the different schemes. (IANS)