The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has directed the state government to pay old age pension to those petitioners who do not have Aadhaar cards and mobile phones, after verifying their genuineness through bank records.

The order was passed by a division bench of Chief Justice Arun Bhansali and Justice A.R. Masoodi on a PIL petition filed by one Mohana and other elderly persons last year, seeking directives to restart their old age pension.

“The available petitioners would appear before the District Social Welfare Officer, Unnao on 29.02.2024 along with their Pass Books, accounts numbers whereof have been indicated or any other material to indicate that they were being paid the old age pension prior to its alleged stoppage. The officer may satisfy himself about the genuineness of the petitioners, however, he would not insist on production of mobile numbers/Aadhaar Cards and in case he comes to the conclusion about the genuineness of the petitioners and that they are not being paid old age pension, the same would be paid to them,” the court said in its order on Monday.

The petitioners claimed that they are not in possession of mobiles or Aadhaar cards on account of their financial status. Their counsel submitted that they are prepared to subject themselves to any kind of verification other than the said two requirements.

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Opposing the plea, the state counsel contended that no material had been produced to indicate that the old age pension was ever started. “Therefore, the petitioners have to establish that they were being paid pension which has been stopped,” the state counsel added.

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