New Delhi: In a significant move, the Madras High Court took exception to the state government giving freebies to the people irrespective of their economic status.
The court said people had become lazy due to this culture and it has forced migrant workers from the northern states to take up menial jobs to avail these benefits.
A division bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose observed while dealing with a petition that sought free rice to all ration card-holders under the PDS scheme without impacting the supply of food grains to people below the poverty line (BPL).
“It is obligatory on the part of the government to provide basic needs such as rice and groceries only to poor people. However, the successive governments have extended the benefits to all for political gains. As a result, now the people expect everything for free from the government,” the court said.
The bench led by Justice Kirubakaran had asked a slew of queries to the government lawyer, regarding the efficiency of the PDS system while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed against the preventive detention of a black marketeer last month.
Advocate General Vijay Narayan responded to the court by saying that the Tamil Nadu government has booked nearly 440 officials of the civil supplies corporation in the last 10 years for wrongdoings related to rice distribution under the PDS scheme.
However, the court was not satisfied with the response and it asked the government to give details of the detainees. It sought their designation and also how they were taken into custody under the Goondas Act.
The court was also worried over rice being distributed free of cost, which resulted in government incurring a loss of Rs 2,000 crore every year.
In addition to this, the court directed the advocate general to ascertain by November 30 whether the government would limit supply of free rice to BPL families only and it also asked the civil supplies corporation to submit annual reports of the last 10 years.