The Supreme Court on December 13, 2018 directed that senior citizens should get a meaningful pension to live with dignity and not just the equivalent of Rs 92 at current value.
The SC bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that the state was obligated to ensure that the right to live with dignity, which includes reasonable shelter, health care, clothing and meaningful pension for elderly people without any means, was not only protected but enforced and made available to all citizens.
The court said this while issuing a number of directions for the enforcement of pension for the elderly, shelter, geriatric care and medical facilities and the effective implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
1. The bench noted that in real terms the value of Rs 200 being given as pension to elderly people since 2007 today stands at about Rs 92.
2. The bench stated that the provision for basic necessities including nutrition, clothing and shelter can be made only if the elderly are provided with a pension that is meaningful and not a pension that is equivalent to Rs 92 per month.
3. The court said that if the current value of the rupee is taken into consideration, the amount of Rs 200 in real terms will actually work out to about Rs 92 per month on the lower scale.
4. The court directed the centre and states to revisit the grant of pension to the elderly so that it is more “realistic”.
5. The court said that the schemes that are “comparatively dated” should be re-looked and overhauled to bring about convergence and avoid multiplicity.