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Pension cannot be held back due to the want of Aadhar - CIC


In the face of the recent tussle between the government and various petitioners against Aadhar at the Supreme Court, the CIC has ruled that pension cannot be held back for the want of Aadhar.


In the face of the recent tussle between the government and various petitioners against Aadhar at the Supreme Court, the CIC has ruled that pension cannot be held back for the want of Aadhar.

Hearing the matter, Prof. M Sridhar has remarked,

In the name of linking to Aadhaar or other such conditions, the public authority cannot delay the payment of pensions to the senior citizens and retired employees in view of their post retirement requirements. The pensioners might mainly depend upon the pension for their livelihood and delaying it will be inhumane and also amounts to denial of their fundamental right to life.

Also, on the matter of Section 4 of RTI Act being applicable to a request filed to the pertinent matter, the commission said,

It is a matter of life and living of 55 pensioners who were totally dependent upon the paltry amount of pension. Though it is a small amount even a day’s delay in payment might disturb the routine life of all or some of them. That is why the information relating to payment pension to retired persons should be considered and categorised as the information concerning the life and should have been responded within 48 hours.

In the present matter, the petitioner had asked for the names of all those pentioners whose pensions were held up due to want of Aadhar being linked. The CPIO had refused the information on the ground that disclosing such information would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of individuals, and thus cannot be supplied.

Pension is part of the salary as consideration for the services rendered and continuation of payments to the retired public servants, and that would be paid out of public exchequer as per the pre-fixed scale and other aspects. The salary detail of the public servant is not his personal information.

It is noteworthy that the commission has, in reaching the decision, quoted the Puttaswamy case (W P (CIVIL)NO 494 OF 2012) respectively orders on 15th October 2015 and 15th December 2015 directing the central government to reverse the complulsion to link to link Aadhar to six welfare schemes, i.e. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old age pensions, widow pensions, disability pensions), the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

The order reported above is in the matter of N N Dhumane v PIO, Department of Posts. (CIC/Posts/A/2017/185367)