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HC Asks Delhi Govt to Respond to Plea Challenging Decision to Limit Non-PDS Beneficiaries

New Delhi: Women queue up to collect friuts and ration. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh) (

New Delhi: Women queue up to collect friuts and ration. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh) (

The application has also sought direction to the AAP government to modify the May 27 guidelines to the extent that it should not be a mere one time relief measure.

The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of the Delhi government on a plea challenging its non-PDS guidelines putting an arbitrary’ limit of 20 lakh beneficiaries for providing them dry ration. A vacation bench of Justices Navin Chawla and Asha Menon issued notice to the Delhi government and Centre on an application filed by NGO Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan which said food grains be given to all the needy persons.

The application has also sought direction to the AAP government to modify the May 27 guidelines to the extent that it should not be a mere one time relief measure and that the beneficiaries may receive dry ration (food grains) for every calendar month until further orders. The petitioner’s counsel said the Delhi government has stopped distributing dry ration to non-PDS beneficiaries at several centres.

The impugned guidelines (of May 27) have put an arbitrary limit of 20 lakh beneficiaries under the scheme. This limit of 20 lakh appears to have no rational basis whatsoever. The provisioning and the estimate of the number of persons who are in need of the benefits under the scheme ought to be based on the number of people who in fact had benefitted under a similar scheme last year. In 2020, when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, pursuant the orders of this court, nearly 69.6 lakh persons, who did not possess ration cards, registered under the e-coupon scheme and were provided dry rations. Therefore rations must be provided to all those who are in need, as also ordered last year, the plea, filed through advocate S Prasanna, said.

It also sought to direct the authorities to provide for a helpline number for people to register complaints regarding problems with registering or availing benefits under the scheme and a mandate for nodal officers to place on the official website the action taken by them in that behalf within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. The application has been filed by the NGO in its pending petition challenging the decision to link ration cards with Aadhaar.

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first published:June 16, 2021, 16:16 IST