Reached Daily Limit?

Explore a new way of legal research!

Click Here
Indian Case Summary

Dr.Ashwani Kumar vs Union Of India And Ors. Ministry Of … on 13 December, 2018 – Case Summary

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In the case of Dr. Ashwani Kumar vs Union of India and Others, the Supreme Court of India delivered a landmark judgment on 13th December 2018, emphasizing the importance of social justice and the rights of the elderly. The case was presided over by Justice M B Lokur.

The petitioner, Dr. Ashwani Kumar, filed a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution, seeking enforcement of the rights of elderly persons under Article 21 of the Constitution. He limited his prayers to four issues: pension for the elderly, shelter for the elderly, geriatric care and medical facilities for the elderly, and effective implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 (‘MWP Act’).

The court recognized the importance of social justice, especially for the elderly, as an emerging situation that was perhaps not fully foreseen by the Constitution framers. The court acknowledged that age can render people completely helpless and dependent on others, either physically or mentally or both. The court also recognized the rights of elderly persons under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The court discussed the pension scheme for the elderly in detail. The Union of India had categorized the elderly into two groups: those who are above 60 years of age and up to 79 years of age, and those above 80 years of age. The court noted that the pension amount was fixed more than a decade ago with the latest revision in 2007, and the petitioner argued that the amount is inadequate to advance the constitutional mandate of Article 21.

The court also discussed the right to shelter for the elderly. It recognized the right to shelter or the right to reasonable accommodation as one of the basic needs of any human being. The court noted that while there has been some positive development in this regard, attention has not been paid to the needs of the elderly who require special care and attention.

The court further discussed the right to health for the elderly. The petitioner argued that medical facilities and geriatric care are not given the due importance that they deserve. He submitted that, by and large, it is older persons who require medical care more frequently than younger persons and if they are not provided the necessary medical facilities, it would adversely impact on their right to health.

In conclusion, the court emphasized the importance of social justice and the rights of the elderly. It recognized the rights of elderly persons under Article 21 of the Constitution and discussed the issues of pension, shelter, and health care for the elderly in detail. The court also acknowledged the need for the government to work in tandem with the State Governments and the Union Territory Administrations to make the Pension Scheme workable and meaningful.