The State government on Monday told the High Court of Karnataka that senior citizens eligible for various pension schemes of the State are not required to visit either banks or government offices for verification or to produce life certificate as these steps are done at their doorstep by the village accountants using a mobile app called Navodaya.
The government also told the court that during entire period of last year’s lockdown and thereafter, eligible senior citizen pensioners were not asked to produce life certificate and the pension amount was transferred to their bank accounts through the Direct Benefit Transfer method.
A statement in this regard was made before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindara during the hearing of a PIL petition filed by Akhila Karnataka Vyyovrudhara Okkoota, an organisation working for the social security of the elderly in the State.
The verification of pensioners, including under the old-age pension and Sandhya Suraksha schemes, is done at their doorstep and their photo and details of existence done through the mobile app by village accountants, the government stated.
“The State, in fact, has disbursed the entire pension amount liable to be paid to all senior citizens in Karnataka up to the month of May 2021, and there is no due of pension payable,” Deputy Director of Social Security and Pension Department stated in an affidavit submitted to the court.
Meanwhile, the Bench directed the government to submit its response on the court’s earlier query on extending priority benefits to senior citizens, including treatment for COVID-19, under the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
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