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"Every individual can't be entertained under Art 32, states should take care", Supreme Court in plea for COVID-19 elderly care

The Court has asked all states and UTs to file better affidavits in line with its August 4 order directing the provision of masks, sanitisers, and PPE kits for senior citizens.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today asked all states and union territories to file "better affidavits" to explain measures adopted to ensure the safety of elderly persons during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah was hearing a petition filed by former Rajya Sabha MP and Senior Advocate Dr. Ashwani Kumar seeking adequate facilities for the elderly during the pandemic.

When the petitioner attempted to showcase individual incidents where the elderly were mistreated during the pandemic, the Bench remarked,

"India is a big country. Every individual case cannot be entertained under Article 32. States should take care of such cases."

The Court has now asked all states and UTs to file better affidavits in line with its August 4 order directing the provision of masks, sanitisers, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for senior citizens lodged in institutions.

These affidavits are to be be filed within four weeks.

On August 4, the Court had recognised that senior citizens living alone during the pandemic needed to be assured of timely help should they make a request for the same.

During the earlier hearing, the Bench had said that the government is obliged to take care of elderly people who are living alone by ensuring that essential goods and services are provided to them. The Court had thus directed,

"We, in this application, which is specially confined to Covid 19 crisis, direct that all old age people who are eligible for pension should be regularly paid pension and those identified older people should be provided necessary medicines, masks, sanitizers and other essential goods by respective States."

(Read order)

COVID elderly facilities order.pdf
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