New Delhi, Mar 14 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today asked the AAP government about the status of a proposal to increase the monthly pension to be paid to poor people suffering from the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and suggested that at least minimum wages be given to them.

The observation by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar came after it was told that the Delhi State Aids Control Society has forwarded a proposal to increase the pension amount from Rs 1,000 to between Rs 3,000-6,000 and it is pending for consideration of the health department.

The court, thereafter, directed the Health Secretary of the Delhi government to file a report indicating what is the status of the proposal and listed the matter for further hearing on May 2.

It said the report will also indicate the mode of payment of the amount to the poor AIDS patients.

The bench was hearing a PIL initiated by it after receiving a letter from an AIDS victim, seeking enhancement of the Rs 1,000 pension he was getting.

During the hearing, advocate Ajay Verma, appointed as amicus curiae by the court in the matter, told the bench that several states in the country are providing benefits to the poor suffering from AIDS.

He said that the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka provide free travel passes to such persons while Kerala and Gujarat had several schemes, including access to subsidised food, for them.

The court had on the last date of hearing told the Delhi government that if cannot provide pension to poor AIDS patients, then it should not provide free water and electricity to those who can afford such amenities.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.