Old-age pension: HC gives Punjab 3 months to probe anomalies
Surprised to know that old-age pension in Punjab's villages was being disbursed without verification, the Punjab and Haryana high court has granted the state government three months to complete a probe throughout the state to find such cases and fix responsibility of officials responsible.chandigarh Updated: Jul 04, 2013 23:47 IST
Surprised to know that old-age pension in Punjab's villages was being disbursed without verification, the Punjab and Haryana high court has granted the state government three months to complete a probe throughout the state to find such cases and fix responsibility of officials responsible.
The division bench headed by chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul directed the state government to file the status report mentioning what steps it had taken to recover the illegally disbursed amount and how much money had been recovered.
The court said it was large-scale bungling where 88 out of 123 persons in Pindi village of Guru Har Sahai tehsil in Ferozepur district were illegally drawing old-age pension. "You better find out the officials responsible for this," directed the chief justice to the state counsel.
The directions came on a public interest litigation filed by Ferozepur resident Hazoor Singh, alleging that there were a large number of villagers who were in their 40s but were drawing old-age pension.
However, the state government informed the court that it had already completed the investigation into the old-age pension beneficiaries enrolled between September 2002 and December 2008 and found 71,426 ineligible beneficiaries whose pension had been stopped in 2012. It was submitted that now a probe needed to be done for old-age pensioners enrolled after January 2009.
Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, director, social security, women and child development, sought six months from the court to complete the probe regarding more than 2 lakh beneficiaries enrolled after January 2009.
When the petitioner's counsel informed the court that the former was being harassed by registering an "unwanted" FIR against him after filing of the public interest litigation (PIL), the court directed the state to ensure that the petitioner was not harassed.
The case would now come up for hearing on October 30.