Plea in HC says around 12K women denied widow pension; Centre, AAP govt asked to respond

The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked the Centre and the AAP government to respond to a PIL alleging that pension to around 12,000 widows has been discontinued during the COVID-19 lockdown by the Woman and Child Development Ministry without any valid reason.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Delhi government and the ministry seeking their stand by August 26 on the issues raised in the plea.

The petition, by social activist Harpal Singh Rana, states that according to response received under the Right to Information Act, widow pension of around 12,000 women has been discontinued by the ministry during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The plea, filed through advocates Akhil Rana and Utkarsh Sharma, said the pension has been discontinued/ withheld "on fake, filmsy and unfounded grounds", like address not found.

The petition has claimed that the applicants for the pension have been residing at the same address provided in their applications.

The women are also being denied the financial assistance that was being given to them for marriage of their daughters.

The plea has sought urgent release of the widow pensions after due verification of the applicants.

It has also sought that fresh application for pension or any other financial assistance be disposed of within the stipulated 45 days and if rejected, the reasons be also communicated to the applicants
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