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States, UTs not concerned about the old aged: Supreme Court

IANS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the states and union territories don’t seem concerned about old aged persons in the country as several of them have not responded on the petition relating to the old age homes in every district.

A division bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta took note that affidavits have not been filed by 11 states and union territories on the issue.

In spite of this default, there is no appearance on behalf of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and UTs of Daman and Diu and Lakshdeep, said the bench expression displeasure over them not filing affidavits.

“It is quite obvious that these states/union territories are not concerned about old aged persons. That is why, neither affidavits have been filed nor is anyone present on their behalf. Be that as it may, we grant last opportunity to the defaulting states which also include Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana to file their affidavits,” the court said and sought their affidavits within three weeks.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by former Union Minister Ashwini Kumar for protection of rights of senior citizens, given that there was a large number of aged people which has been increasing, with most of them living in poverty, without any roof over their heads or proper clothes and food.

During the hearing, the bench was informed that 23 states and UT have filed their affidavits, while 11 others have not.

Ashwini Kumar told the court that he will compile the information from the affidavits which would be filed by the states and UTs and place them on record.

In September 2017, the court had sought responses from the States and UTs regarding the status of old age homes in every district.