Delhi High Court has issued notice in a plea seeking resumption of the Chief Minister Corona Assistance Scheme in order to ensure supply of dry ration to the underprivileged persons in Delhi who are in need of it.
The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad has directed the Delhi Government to submit an affidavit in an application preferred in the ongoing writ petition moved by Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan.
In addition to the resumption of the Corona Assistance Scheme, the Petitioner also seeks continuance of kiosks and helpdesk set up to meet the grievances of the people who are not yet registered under the Public Distribution Scheme.
'Despite the lifting of the lockdown, many people are finding it extremely difficult to find employment', the Petitioner said.
The application also demands setting up of hunger relief centers for distributing food to those who do not possess a ration card.
Appearing for the Delhi Government, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain submitted that despite the closure of the aforesaid said in the month of May, the leftover ration is still being distributed to the needy.
When confronted with a question from the court as to how the poor people are registering for the scheme when the same has been exhausted, Mr Jain submitted that the Commissioners of the area are looking into the matter.
'We had to organise special trains for the movement of more than 3 lakh migrant labourers who are now returning to Delhi for work', Mr Jain submitted.
The application has been moved in the ongoing writ petition which claims that that 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.
As per the Petitioner, such non implementation of NFSA amounts to the breach of duty enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution as it has caused distress to a large number of people who are rendered helpless by the ongoing pandemic.
Therefore, the petition seeks 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.
The court will next take up the matter on August 17