Kerala HC asks LSA to check if daughter of dead disabled man is getting medical care

Joseph from Chakkittapara had ended his life allegedly following delay in getting his disability pension

Updated - July 09, 2024 09:39 pm IST

Published - July 09, 2024 07:06 pm IST - KOCHI

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Kozhikode District Legal Services Authority (LSA) secretary to visit the care home where the daughter of Joseph, a disabled person from Chakkittapara who had ended his life allegedly following delay in getting his disability pension, is staying and find out whether she is getting medical care and if she needs any other support and file a report.

The Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice A. Muhamed Mustaq and Justice S. Manu also directed the State government to inform the court about the share of social security pension allocated by the Centre remaining with it now.

The court passed the directive when a suo motu case registered in the wake of the suicide of Joseph and a public interest litigation seeking a directive to the government to disburse all the pension arrears to the beneficiaries without delay came up for hearing.

The government pleader submitted that the government could not pay pension fully due to its financial stringency. The pension for the month of June had already been disbursed. Only six months’ arrears were pending. There was considerable delay on the part of the Centre in allocating its share. While the Centre’s share came to ₹200, the State government provided ₹1,400 as pensions to the disabled persons. The government wanted to pay the pension along with the grant of ₹200 allocated by the Centre.

Plea before SC

In fact, a company had been constituted by the government for the purpose of disbursing the social security pensions. However, the Centre did not allow the State company from mobilising loans from the open market as it insisted that the loans taken would be added to the government expenses. As a result, the government had moved the Supreme Court seeking to allow the company to take loans from the open mark. The petition was still pending before the Supreme Court, which would decide whether the company had the power to take loan for disbursing the pension amounts. It was further submitted that the amount allocated for the social security pensions could not be diverted as the Centre was constantly monitoring the spending of the money.

Counsel for the petitioner pointed out that the government was collecting cess on the same of Indian-made foreign liquor, petrol and diesel towards paying the social security pension. But the government was diverting the collected amount for various other purposes.

The court also directed the State government to inform the court whether the daughter of Mariakutty, a 75-year-old woman from Adimaly who has moved a petition for getting her widow pension in time, has sufficient income to take care of her mother.

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