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High Court seeks explanation: Delhi govt attitude towards food security "lackadaisical"

By Our Representative
A Delhi High Court bench comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup Bhambhani has sought to know from the Delhi state government if any action has been taken to put in place the statutory grievance redress framework under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
It was hearing a contempt petition filed by the civil rights organization, Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan (DRRAA) against the state government for its "failure" to comply with the order of the court dated September 1, 2017.
The bench directed the representative of the food department to file a detailed affidavit along with relevant documents on steps taken since the order of September 1, 2017 and where the file was currently pending.
Expressing its dissatisfaction with the reply filed by the state government to the contempt petition, the bench observed the government attitude was lackadaisical, as the rules for grievance redress and accountability have still not been promulgated more than five years after the law was passed and 19 months after the order of the Delhi High Court.
A DRRAA note said, the government affidavit showed that the file regarding framing of rules has just been transferred between various departments and ministries, with no concrete action being taken. The affidavit ended by stating that the matter of setting up the statutory grievance redress framework under NFSA as directed by the Delhi High Court is still under consideration of the government.
The case is now listed for hearing in July 2019. DRRAA is being represented by advocates Sanjay Parikh, Prasanna S and Apar Gupta.
Under NFSA, up to 50% of the urban population is entitled to 5 kg of subsidized grains per person per month. Families under the Antodaya category are to receive 35 kgs per family per month. Midday meal scheme, Integrated Child Development Scheme and maternity benefits are covered under the law.
"The recent starvation deaths of 3 minor girls in Delhi highlighted the alarming situation of distress and food insecurity in the capital. The situation is especially dire for children, elderly and the homeless, who are the most vulnerable", opined DRRAA, which consists oft  right to food activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Annie Raja, Koninika Ray, Dipa Sinha, Anwar, Aditi, Shakeel, Kailash, and Amrita Johri.

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