A court in Andhra Pradesh has ‘pulled up’ the state government for stopping the pension of single women and that of widows as per a report. The state’s high court noted that stopping pensions to poor women on technical grounds was ‘unreasonable.’ The court questioned that while the government was spending thousands of crores of money on other welfare schemes, what prompted them to stall this dues to single women and widows. Additionally the court noted that stopping the pensions arbitrarily was not acceptable.
The high court directed the state government to pay pensions from the day they were denied the pension. This happened after disposing two petitions moved by 175 petitioners from Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh.
Petitioners have false identities: AP government
However, the state presented a counter affidavit that said that the petitioners were not eligible for the pension program. The reason is that they have falsely claimed themselves to be widowed or single women. The court was quick to respond. “In our culture, no woman will ever claim herself as a widow if her husband is alive. Similarly, no woman will claim as single while living with her spouse. Even if they have claimed as argued, it reflects their poor financial condition. This forced them to declare themselves as widows just for the sake of social security pension,” the court observed. It also said that while implementing welfare schemes, the government must and should consider their condition with a human touch and empathy.
As the government stopped the pension of the petitioners without giving them a chance to present their case before the court, the HC directed the state to pay the whole pension to them from the day they were stopped.
Shikha Chandra is an intern with SheThePeople TV