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HC gives Punjab, Haryana 6 months to inquire into ineligible pensioners

Taking note of the staggering figures of illegal beneficiaries of old age pensioners in various districts in Punjab and Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana high court has granted six months' time to both the state governments to complete enquiries and submit their reports.
Hindustan Times | By Sanjeev Verma, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON AUG 30, 2012 12:12 PM IST

Taking note of the staggering figures of illegal beneficiaries of old age pensioners in various districts in Punjab and Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana high court has granted six months' time to both the state governments to complete enquiries and submit their reports.

The directions came from the division bench comprising of acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain while hearing a case in which the high court had taken suo motu notice of a letter written to the chief justice highlighting cases of illegal old age beneficiaries.

The petitioner had mentioned that there were many such beneficiaries who were no more but their pensions were being drawn without any check.

The high court directed the secretary, social justice and empowerment department of Punjab and the secretary, social justice and empowerment, women and child development department, Haryana to ensure compliance of the court's orders.

Haryana government had informed the court that after the investigations, it was found that in its various districts 18,420 persons were found to be ineligible for the old age pension. In 21 districts of Haryana, out of total beneficiaries of 13.28 lakh only 12.39 lakh were found to be eligible for the old age pension. The state had submitted that a total number of 14,198 had not come for verification.

While the Punjab government had submitted that as per the investigation conducted for 10.06 lakh pensioners in 20 districts, only 9.07 lakh were found eligible. The court was informed that around 20,000 existing pensioners did not come forward for verification

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