Pay special attention to provide essentials to elderly: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to ensure timely pension to the elderly, besides ensuring availability of sanitisers, masks and PPE kits to them, wherever required, during the coronavirus pandemic.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said their requests should be immediately attended to, and emphasised that old-age pension should be disbursed in a timely manner.

The top court asked the Centre to ensure that all Covid-19 safety precautions are followed and caregivers in old-age homes were well-equipped with masks, PPE kits, and sanitisers.

The apex court directions came on a petition filed by Congress’ former Rajya Sabha MP and Senior Advocate Ashwani Kumar.

The top court noted that senior citizens living alone, especially during the pandemic, need to be assured that they would receive timely help if they were to make a request for the same.

The bench said the state governments should also ensure that they responded promptly on issues/problems faced by the elderly living alone.

Earlier, the apex court had taken suo motu cognisance on issues connected with the spread of coronavirus infections in prisons and childcare institutions.