DB directs Director SWD Jammu/Srinagar to file update report fon grant of pension to Old aged & ors


JAMMU, JULY 9: In a Public Interest Litigation filed by Viklang Chattra Trust seeking better care of old age home, A Division Bench of the State High Court Comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Sindhu Sharma after hearing Sr. Adv Sunil Sethi with Adv Parimoksh Seth for the PIL whereas Deputy AG Vishal Bharti for the State, directed Director, Social Welfare, Jammu/ Kashmir shall update the status with reference to grant of pension in favour of the Old aged, the Handicapped and the Widows by or before the next date of hearing.
When the PIL came-up for hearing, DB Observed that subject of the instant Public Interest Litigation has reference to grant of pension to the Old aged, the Handicapped and Widows.
DB further observed that reportedly, some more than 2,63,620 applications are pending with the Department of Social Welfare at different levels for grant of pension under the Old Age Pension Scheme and in the earlier status report filed by the respondents, it was averred that the delay in the disbursement of pension has occasioned because of the scrutiny of the record of the applicants. DB further observed that in terms of order dated 8th of May, 2019, the State Counsel had sought and was granted time to conduct the verification of all the applications and disburse the benefit as per the schemes in favour of such applicants whose claims are found to be genuine.
Today when the matter came-up for hearing Vishal Bharti, the Deputy Advocate General, has produced a photocopy of Government Order No. 154-SW of 2019 dated 8th of July, 2019, having reference to the decision of the State Administrative Council bearing No. 167/17/2019 dated 3RD of July, 2019, whereby the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, in order to ensure transparency in the disbursement of pension benefits; to avoid delay in the delivery of benefits to the targeted groups; to ensure coverage of left out eligible beneficiaries; and in pursuance of the provisions of the Panchayati Raj Act, 2018 and the Jammu and Kashmir Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial And Other Subsides, benefits and Services) Act, 2018, has accorded sanction to the that the Deputy Commissioners of the districts are directed to ensure vigorous and detailed re-scrutinization of all the pending cases in the District subject to the provisions of the Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 and ensure that all eligible cases duly supported by Aadhar numbers are forwarded to the respective Directorates of Social Welfare latest by July, 31, 2019. The Directorates of Social Welfare Department, Jammu/ Kashmir are directed to ensure that subject to the provisions of the Panchayati Raj Act, 2018, the process of Aadhar Seeding and consequent de-duplication and weeding out of in-eligible cases of all approved cases is expedited and concluded by September 30, 2019 in the light of the Jammu and Kashmir Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies And Services) Act, 2018. In addition, a list of all widows below 40 years of age, not covered under the ongoing Scheme be also complied."
Copy of the Government order aforesaid is taken on record, DB observed that having perused the Government order (supra), we request Mr Sunil Sethi, the learned Amicus Curiae, to assist the Court with reference to availability of the power of the Government to link the grant of pension in favour of Old aged, the Handicapped and widows with the Aadhar numbers of the beneficiaries. JNF

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