Dr. Ashwani Kumar vs Union of India - Supreme Court Important Judgment
Dr. Ashwani Kumar vs Union of India - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2018 -
On 13th December, 2018, in the case of Dr. Ashwani Kumar v. Union of India & Ors. [Writ Petition (C) No. 193 of 2016], issues relating to the recognition and enforcement of the fundamental rights of the elderly came up for consideration. The relief prayed was primarily limited to pension, shelter, geriatric care and medical facilities for the elderly, and for effective implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 (MWP Act).
On consideration of the matter, the Supreme Court deemed it appropriate to issue the following initial directions for the time being so that effective contributions are made to recognise and enforce the rights of elderly persons:-
“1. The Union of India will obtain necessary information from all the State Governments and the Union Territories about the number of old age homes in each district of the country and file a Status Report in this regard.
2. The Union of India will also obtain from all the State Governments the medical facilities and geriatric care facilities that are available to senior citizens in each district and file a Status Report in this regard.
3. On the basis of the information gathered by the Union of India as detailed in the Status Reports, a plan of action should be prepared for giving publicity to the provisions of the MWP Act and making senior citizens aware of the provisions of the said Act and the constitutional and statutory rights of senior citizens.
4. Section 30 of the MWP Act enables the Government of India to issue appropriate directions to the State Governments to carry out and execute the provisions of the MWP Act. The Central Government must exercise its power in this regard and issue appropriate directions to the State Governments for the effective implementation of the provisions of the MWP Act. Alongside this, the Central Government must, in terms of Section 31 of the MWP Act, conduct a review for the purposes of monitoring the progress in implementation of the MWP Act by the State Governments.
5. It is high time that the Government of India has a relook” at some schemes “and perhaps overhaul them with a view to bring about convergence and avoid multiplicity. In particular, the Government of India and the State Governments must revisit the grant of pension to the elderly so that it is more realistic.”