SC junks plea for restoration of fare concessions offered to senior citizens by railways

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking restoration of the concessions in train fare that was offered to senior citizens by the railways before the Covid outbreak, saying since it’s a matter of state policy it will not be appropriate for the court to issue a direction to the government.

A bench of Justices SK Kaul and Ahsanuddin Amanullah was hearing a plea filed by MK Balakrishnan for restoration of the concessions that was discontinued in order to stem the spread of the disease.

“It would not be appropriate for this court to issue a writ of mandamus in a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution. It is for the government to take a call on the issue keeping in mind the needs of the senior citizens and the fiscal repercussions. Dismissed,” the bench said, rejecting the petitioner’s contention that the state has an obligation to grant concessions to the elderly.

The Centre had in 2020 discontinued the concessions granted to senior citizens to discourage the movement of people to arrest the spread of COVID-19.

A parliamentary standing committee recently recommended resumption of the concessions that was granted to senior citizens before the onset of the pandemic.

The Indian Railways used to offer a 40 per cent discount in fares to males aged 60 years or more and 50 per cent to females over the age of 58 years.

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