How was BPL percentage calculated, asks SC
The SC asked Ahluwalia to file an affidavit explaining the Planning Commission's position within a week.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Planning Commission, asking its Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to explain how was the percentage of people living below poverty line (BPL) fixed at 36 per cent and how has their purchasing power remained unchanged since 1991.
An apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma asked Ahluwalia to file within a week an affidavit explaining the Planning Commission's position.
The court said several states, including Congress-ruled states, have disputed the 36 per cent figure and argued that the people living below poverty line were much more in numbers.
The court said that "you (India) are a powerful economy. Yet, starvation deaths are taking place in many parts of the country. What a stark contradiction in our approach. How can there be two Indias?"
The court's observation came in the wake of the hearing of a petition by Peopls'e Union of Civil Liberties which contended that adequate food grain were not being given to the people living below the poverty line. It also challenged the Planning Commission estimates of the BPL families.
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