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Kerala HC Rejects Plea To Retain Authorised Wholesale Distributors In PDS [Read Judgment]

Ashok KM
10 April 2017 11:27 AM GMT
Kerala HC Rejects Plea To Retain Authorised Wholesale Distributors In PDS [Read Judgment]
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The scheme of the National Food Security Act, 2013, is minimal involvement of private persons, the bench observed.The Kerala High Court has rejected the plea of the Kerala Ration Wholesale Distributors Federation to retain authorised wholesale distributors (AWD) and not to shut them out totally, observing that the scheme of the National Food Security Act, 2013, and the Targeted...

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The scheme of the National Food Security Act, 2013, is minimal involvement of private persons, the bench observed.


The Kerala High Court has rejected the plea of the Kerala Ration Wholesale Distributors Federation to retain authorised wholesale distributors (AWD) and not to shut them out totally, observing that the scheme of the National Food Security Act, 2013, and the Targeted Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2015, is to exclude private interference or indulgence in the distribution system.

Before enactment of the Food Security Act, AWDs were assigned with the work to lift food grain from the FCI, store it and, the authorised retail distributors would take delivery from them.

A bench comprising Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh and Justice Antony Dominic observed that it is the obligation of the state government now, through its agency, to ensure proper compliance of the provisions of the delivery, though certain discretions were given as contained in sub-clause (11) of clause (7) and the scheme of the Act and the order is minimal involvement of private persons.

“If that be the statutory claim and the statutory policy, then, no court can issue any direction contrary thereto even for a temporary period. It is for the Government to ensure compliance of the provisions and securing the benefits to the person for whom the entire exercise is meant to be done,” the bench said.

The court also rejected the contention that the government does not have the wherewithal to undertake such an exercise and till such time that the government acquires the infrastructure, the existing AWD should be allowed to work.

It is undoubtedly true that the AWDs have worked as such for decades and it would be painful if not difficult for them to give up their trade and business. But then, if we look to Article 19(6) of the Constitution, the State thus have a right of monopolising business,” the bench said.

Read the Judgment here.

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