The Supreme Court on Monday asked the states to file detailed affidavits on a plea seeking directions to provide masks and sanitisers for senior citizens, who are living alone, amid the COVID19 pandemic.

The top court has asked the state governments to file the affidavits within four weeks.

Former Union minister and senior advocate Ashwini Kumar informed a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah that the affidavits filed by states based on August 4 direction of the court lacked details on actions taken to address the issue.

Kumar submitted before the bench that except Odisha and Punjab, the affidavits on record lack details.

The Supreme Court on August 4 had directed that all pensioners should be regularly paid pension, and states should provide them necessary medicines, masks, sanitisers and other essentials amid the ongoing pandemic.

A media report quoted Kumar as arguing that the elderly amid the pandemic need more care and protection.

Kumar on Monday insisted that priority should be granted to senior citizens who are undergoing treatment at various hospitals.

He cited the affidavit filed by Manipur and contended that state governments should file better affidavits with more details on the actions taken so far.

The top court had directed the Centre and the state governments to ensure timely pension to the elderly, besides ensuring availability of sanitisers, masks and PPE kits to them, wherever required, during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We, in this application, which is specially confined to Covid-19 crisis, direct that all old age people who are eligible for pension should be regularly paid pension and those identified as older people should be provided necessary medicines, masks, sanitizers and other essential goods by respective states,” said the bench.

The Supreme Court asked the Centre to ensure that all COVID19 safety precautions are followed and caregivers in old-age homes were well-equipped with masks, PPE kits, and sanitisers.

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