The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the city government to inform it the steps taken to provide pensions to elderly people, who have not been paid for almost three years under its old age assistance scheme.
Justice J.R. Midha asked the government take immediate steps to finalise the list of elderly people who had to receive pensions and file an affidavit, within two weeks, in this regard.
The counsel of east, north and south civic bodies informed the court that they have already provided lists to the social welfare department of the Delhi government, of the applicants’ earlier drawing old age pension from the corporations.
The court was hearing a plea seeking contempt proceedings against civic bodies for not giving the list of pension beneficiaries to the Delhi government.
A division bench on January 20, while disposing of the PIL, had directed the three civic bodies to provide the government within four weeks the list of names and other details of people not getting funds under the MCD schemes to know the eligibility criteria for the government schemes.
The bench had directed Delhi government to process payment cases after receiving the lists and other particulars from the civic bodies.
Justice Midha, hearing the contempt plea asked the Delhi chief secretary and three civic bodies commissioners to file compliance report of order passed by division bench on January 20.
The counsel appearing for government admitted the receipt of the lists of applicants from civic bodies but sought time saying that the government was presently busy with the elections.
Advocate Ashok Agarwal, appearing for petitioner NGO Social Jurist said that it seems that the Delhi government was “not serious in the matter of payment of pension to 2 lakh old aged destitute who had not been paid pension for last 3 years”.
“Many old aged people waiting for their pension have already died and more would die if payment of pension is further delayed,” he argued.
After the civic bodies had told the court that due to serious financial crunch and budget deficit, they were not able to disburse old-age pensions, the Delhi government had said that it will accommodate MCD pensioners in its schemes.