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SC dismisses plea against Andhra Pradesh GO restricting pension to one person in a family

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea challenging the decision of the Andhra Pradesh government to restrict grant of pension to only one person in a family.

Terming the issue raised in the special leave petition as “policy matter”, a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said: “Ultimately, the state has to look at its paying capacity. There are so many problems where attention of the state is required like old age pension, social security, minimum wages, etc.

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“We cannot ignore the widows, milords!” pleaded the counsel appearing for the petitioners, adding that the impugned decision affects more than 40 lakh widows across the state.

The special leave petition filed before the apex court contended that poor senior citizens and distressed widows were deprived of their rightful entitlements of pension only on the grounds that they are in co-habitation with another pension holder.

The Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Department in 2019 restricted the grant of pension to only one person in a family. In his plea, petitioner Thandava Yogesh contended that restriction placed on the ground of same residence is violative of Articles 14, 21, 39(A) and 39(E), and 41 of the Constitution apart from being violative of the 2008 Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, National Social Assistance Programme Guidelines and Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

It said that provision of pension to only one distressed category of person having a common residence while leaving the others is contrary to provision of inequality and no discrimination enshrined in the Constitution.

Earlier in October 2023, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) saying that it could not review a policy decision taken by the state government and determine whether the object of consideration should be the family or the individual.

Before the High Court, the state government said that it took a policy decision to take the family as a unit and executive has to be given leeway in economic and policy decisions.



(This report is auto-generated from IANS news service. 'Main Media' holds no responsibility for its content.)

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