Think about adopting 'One nation one ration card' amid lockdown: SC to govt

People maintaining social distance while waiting queue to obtain ration in Mumbai | Photo: PTI
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to consider the feasibility of 'temporarily' adopting the 'one nation, one ration card' scheme during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown period to enable the migrant workers and economically weaker sections (EWS) get subsidised foodgrain.

The central government scheme is scheduled to be launched in June this year.

A bench of Justices N V Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and B R Gavai, in an order passed on Monday said: We direct the Union of India to consider whether it is feasible for it to implement the said Scheme at this stage or not and take appropriate decision in this regard keeping in view the present circumstances.

The top court disposed of a plea filed by advocate Reepak Kansal, who sought the launching of the scheme, for the benefit of migrant workers, beneficiaries and citizens of other states stranded in different places due to the nationwide lockdown.

The petitioner seeks the indulgence of this court to protect and safeguard right of migrant labourers /beneficiaries / citizens of other States/ UT/ tourists to get their entitlement of subsidized foodgrain and benefits of government scheme etc introduced during the epidemic of coronavirus and nationwide lockdown in the State / UTs even if they are not in their respective home State / Union Territory by way of a mandamus to the concerned authorities to temporarily adopt One Nation One Umbrella Policy during the epidemic of corona due to absence of scheme of One Nation One Rashan Card, the plea said.

He also sought direction to authorities for ensuring migrant labourers who are at present staying in rented premises or in transit camps do not go hungry for want of local identity cards or any identity cards.

Kansal claimed that States and Union Territories have been giving preferences to its respective citizens and voters and denying benefits of subsidized grains / foods /shelter/ medical facilities to the migrants labourers or citizens of other states/ UTs due to absence of local identity proof like Ration card/residential proof or voter card even during the unprecedented nationwide lockdown due to epidemic of COVID-19.

HC asks Delhi govt to simplify process of accessing ration by needy

The Delhi High Court has asked the AAP government to simplify the procedure of getting ration by poor and needy people who have Aadhaar cards and voter IDs but do not possess ration cards.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said if there is any need for a change in the policy decision, it shall also be simplified by authorities looking at the need of the people at large.

The court directed authorities that if any change in the policy decision is carried out for simplification in the procedure to get the ration, it will be notified and informed to all the fair price shop owners.

The court was hearing a plea by NGO Nayee Soch Society seeking direction to the Delhi government to provide ration to the needy on production of their Aadhaar cards or voter IDs at fair price shops functioning in their area.

 

The plea also sought direction to authorities to provide the details of citizens who have taken the benefit of ration by way of Aadhaar cards during the period of lockdown since March 25 till date by way of applying on the Food department's website.

The petition claimed non-availability of ration to people who have Aadhaar cards or voter IDs but they do not possess ration cards at present.

It said these people ought to be provided ration as per the government norms from the nearest available fair price shop.

The counsel for the Delhi government submitted that they are making available ration to those who are otherwise eligible and have their Aadhaar cards and voter IDs despite the fact that they are not in a position to present their ration cards.

The counsel further said people who are non-residents of Delhi or migrant workers or stranded in the city during the lockdown period are being provided ration, and added that authorities will look into the list of people provided by the petitioner and ration will be provided to them from the nearest fair price shop.



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