The Karnataka High Court has urged the State government to consider the recommendations made by National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU) in the survey report titled “Rapid Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Food and Nutrition Security in Rural Karnataka.”
The survey report was prepared by the Centre for Child and the Law, NLSIU and was based on interviews with 152 respondents from 5 districts i.e. Bidar, Vijayapura, Koppal, Raichur and Ramanagara.
By this report, it was brought to the Court’s notice that the Monitoring and Grievance Redressal System laid down in the National Food Security Act, 2013 had been rendered defunct during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Further, it was highlighted that the State Food Commission was not functioning proactively to monitor the service delivery and its toll free number was also not functional amidst the present COVID-19 crisis.
In view of the above concerns, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Sreeniwas Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna has asked the State Government to respond on the following aspects:
- whether the Monitoring and Grievance Redressal System is still functional;
- functioning of the State Food Commission and the toll free number;
- recommendations contained in the report regarding (i) immediate relief through schemes and services (ii) health and social security and (iii) long term measures for sustainable food and nutrition security.
The response has to be submitted by May 12.
Among other directions, the Court has also asked the state government to keep the court informed on the action undertaken by the district administration to meet the genuine demands received onthe hunger helpline for supply of food. It has been directed to ensure that such genuine demands are immediately attended and food is supplied to the needy.
These issues were taken up by the Court while dealing with a PIL pertaining to various issues that have arisen amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
The matter shall be next heard on May 12.
Read the Order here: