Andhra Pradesh High Court Rejects PIL Against ECI's Order on Pension Distribution

Andhra Pradesh HC dismisses PIL by Guntur women challenging ECI's pension distribution order. Court deems PIL not maintainable due to govt's arrangements. Case: Citizens for Democracy v. ECI.

On April 3, the High Court of Andhra Pradesh dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by three women from Guntur district challenging the Election Commission of India's (ECI) order dated March 30, 2024. The order barred ward and village volunteers from distributing social security pensions, sparking controversy.

The petitioners argued that the ECI's directive violated Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution and contravened principles of natural justice. They urged the court to instruct the ECI to retract its instructions to the State Chief Electoral Officer regarding volunteers' involvement in pension distribution.

Their contention stemmed from a previous case filed by Citizens for Democracy (CfD), which led to the High Court ruling that the ECI should prohibit volunteers from distributing pensions. The petitioners alleged political motives behind this case.

However, the High Court deemed the PIL not maintainable. It reasoned that the government had made adequate arrangements for pension disbursement at ward and village secretariats, as well as doorstep delivery for beneficiaries unable to visit due to age or physical disabilities.