The Division Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh has directed the Delhi Government to ensure that every person who is in need of ration should be provided the same without any bureaucratic hurdles of ‘e-coupons’, especially to those who are in dire need of food.
The Delhi Government has been directed to install complaint boxes at all the ration shops and designated schools and also ensure that all the help-line numbers are functional.
Delhi Rozi-Roti Adhika Abhiyan has filed the petition seeking implementation of the provisions of the National Food Security Act regarding establishment of Grievance Redressal Committee to address the concerns of the public.
There have been widespread violations in the implementation of the NFSA including ration shops being shut during working hours, denial of access to food grain and other key resources and lack of implementation of necessary grievance redressal and accountability mechanisms, the petition stated.
The petition has asked for the direction to be issued to the Delhi Government to ensure that people are not denied access to foodgrains and other resources at the time of such crisis. This is significant to alleviate the struggle of hundreds of people who have been pushed to hunger and unemployment due to the ongoing lockdown.To ensure the same, the Petitioner has asked the court to direct Delhi Government to to set up and operationalise the accountability and Grievance.
Redress System (including a State Food Commission, social audits) as envisaged under Sections 14, 15,16 and 28 of the National Food Security Act, 2013 in order to ensure that no one goes hungry for want of food and its denial on any technical ground.
In the last hearing, the court had directed the Delhi Government to ensure that all the Public Distribution System (PDS) are open and efficiently disbursing ration to beneficiaries, as per the PDS scheme. The court had also asked the Delhi Government to monitor the functioning of each ration shop through Sub Divisional Magistrates, and upload data on disbursement of ration after each day.
While addressing the urgency of the matter, the Delhi HC had said:
‘At this time the attempt is to ensure that no one goes hungry.’ In addition to this, the Delhi Government was also directed to publicize the helpline numbers in both print and electronic media. Moreover, the government had to upload the details of the grievance officer and the grievance redressal procedure so that the same can be accessed by the aggrieved persons
Read the judgment here: