The high court observed that according to law, the state government must establish old age homes instead of giving aid to non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Advocate Rapolu Bhaskar moved the high court with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the inaction of the state government in establishing old age homes in accordance with PSCM Act. Arguing on behalf of the petitioner, P Raghu told the high court that according to the counter filed by the state government out of 72 old age homes across the state, only two are being maintained by the state government. The remaining 70 old age homes are either being maintained by private parties or NGOs, he said.
Arguing on behalf of the state government, T N Ranga Rao said that the state government is providing aid to the NGOs for the maintenance of old age homes. He said the law permits the state government either to maintain on its own or through the NGOs.
The high court bench headed by Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice D V S S Somayajulu said that the legislation also mandates to set up at least one old age home in every district. In the guise of providing aid to the NGOs the state government is running away from its responsibilities. The statutory functions of the government cannot be outsourced to NGOs, observed the high court.
Directing the state government to explain the steps taken to comply with PSCM Act, the high court posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.