On Monday, the Supreme Court directed States & Union Territories to file a detailed affidavit stipulating measures to ensure that elderly persons are given proper care being living alone amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, within 4 weeks.
The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy was informed by Senior Advocate Dr. Ashwani Kumar that 7 states had filed their affidavits on August 4 in terms of the direction of apex court but lacked detailed.
He expressed that the affidavits on record lacked details, except that of the States of Orissa & Punjab.
“The states must clarify their stand. Most states have only attached circulars. Circulars & paper work is not something that is required. What is required is that how that is being implemented.”
Direction by the Bench in the Elderly Persons Matter
The bench also directed that those states which had filed an affidavit already may also file an additional, better affidavit.
Comments by Advocate Kumar for the Elderly Persons
3 press reports stipulating the ground situation were highlighted by kumar which expressed the situation as indeed “pitiable”.
Justice Bhushan put forth that it was for the state to take care of and that individual matters could not be taken under Article 32.
The obligation of the Government in taking care and protecting the elderly who live alone were recognized by the Court by securing the availability of essential goods and services to them.
Directions by the Court in the Elderly Persons
The Court directed the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to make sure that old-age pension continues to be paid on a regular and timely basis to meet their ends.
All States have been directed to provide prompt responses to requests made by senior citizens, especially those living alone during these times of COVID-19.
Need to safeguard the Elderly Persons Rights
The need to assure the elderly of effective assistance, as and when such assistance was called for have been recognised by the Court.
The Apex Court had also asked the Central Government to ensure that caregivers across old-age homes are provided with necessary precautionary equipment.
Justice Bhushan highlighted that all caregivers should wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits and follow the safety norms regarding sanitization and precautions to be taken against COVID-19.
A petition filed by former Union Law Minister and Senior Advocate Ashwani Kumar was heard by the bench which throws light on the concerns of senior citizens living alone and seeks Rights of the Elderly to be safeguarded.
On Friday, Former Union Law Minister and Senior Advocate Dr. Ashwani Kumar submitted before the Supreme Court that Government policies and legislation intended to secure the rights and dignity of the elderly are not being adequately enforced.
Pensions for Elderly Persons
Likewise, Dr. Kumar’s plea of 2018 sought a direction to the Centre to increase the monthly pension for senior citizens.
From the lens of care for the elderly during the ongoing pandemic, the instant case is now being taken up.