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Delhi govt 'refusal' to provide food to non-ration card holders: HC issues notice

By Our Representative
The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Delhi government on a petition to continue food security scheme for those without ration cards. The petitioner, Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyaan (DRRAA), challenged the state’s alleged discontinuance of the scheme of distribution of food grain to non-ration card holders, in vogue for two months, said this is in violation of the right to food and right to life of lakhs of residents of the city amidst Covid-19 crisis.
Insisting that the “discontinuance” has taken place despite “directions” the Court, the petitioner, represented by senior advocate Sanjay Parikh and Prasanna S, said, in April 2020, the Delhi government under the Mukhya Mantri Corona Sahayta Yojna (MMCSY) set up the e-coupon system for giving rations to 10 lakh people, which was subsequently revised to 30 lakh people not covered under the Public Distribution System (PDS).
However, on on June 9, 2020 the state government issued an order to close all hunger relief centres which were providing hot cooked meals free of cost. The result is, lakhs of people, especially those in the informal sector, have been left with no food security net at a time when they are struggling to find employment.
While the Government of India extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) till November 2020 for the existing ration cardholders for an additional 5 kg grains per person and 1 kg of pulse per household free of cost, and the Delhi government began to implement this, the petition said, not providing rations to others merely because they do not possess a ration card is a gross violation of Article 14.

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