The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea against the Allahabad High Court order upholding the validity of ‘Samajwadi Pension Yojna’, a policy initiative of the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh.
“It is a beautiful scheme. You just see the eligibility criteria. It is meant for the poor. We are sorry,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said.
The court was hearing an appeal filed through lawyer Vishnu Jain by ‘Hindu Front for Justice’ against the High Court order, passed on December 3, 2015, upholding the constitutional validity of the government order on the scheme.
The plea alleged the state government has discriminated against the members of majority Hindu community on the basis of religion in disbursing the money to the poor and weaker sections of the society under the ‘Samajwadi’ pension scheme introduced by the government order issued on February 7, 2014.
“The G.O. is challenged mainly on the ground that weaker section of the society is itself a class and same cannot be classified between majority and minority communities,” it said.
The pension scheme provided for an assistance of Rs 500 per month to those eligible, 25 per cent quota of which was reserved for members of the minority communities distinguished on the basis of religion, it said.
“Pension will be given to 40 lakh families residing in the State of UP out of which 30 per cent i.e. 12 lac have been earmarked for SC/ST, 25 per cent i.e. 10 lac for persons belonging to minority communities and remaining 45 per cent between the OBC and General Category 18 lac,” the GO read.