Delhi High Court seeks Centre’s stand on plea for issuance of ration card to daily wage worker

By: |
October 30, 2021 5:32 PM

In the petition filed through lawyers Jayshree Satpute and Tripti Poddar, the petitioner has alleged that in spite of applying for a ration card in September 2013 and making repeated representations, no action was taken by the authorities.

Earlier this month, the court had sought the Delhi government's stand on why the application for issuance of a ration card by a daily wage worker was pending for eight years.Earlier this month, the court had sought the Delhi government's stand on why the application for issuance of a ration card by a daily wage worker was pending for eight years.

The Delhi High Court has sought the Centre’s stand on a petition for issuance of ration card to a daily wage worker, who had applied for it eight years ago, after the Delhi government claimed that it has already reached the limit on issuance of cards set by central authorities.

The Delhi government told Justice Rekha Palli that based on the 2011 census, the Centre has set a limit of 72 lakh ration cards, which stands exhausted and, therefore, it cannot be faulted for not having issued a ration card to the daily wager. The court was hearing the petition by the daily wage worker seeking a ration card in a time-bound manner, with the names of all her family members.

Earlier this month, the court had sought the Delhi government’s stand on why the application for issuance of a ration card by a daily wage worker was pending for eight years.

“On the last date, Mr. (Gautam) Narayan, learned counsel for respondent nos.2 to 4 was granted time to obtain instructions. Today, he submits that no ration card could be issued to the petitioner as the limit for issuance of 72 lakh ration cards set by respondent no. 1, based on the Census of 2011, already stands exhausted and, therefore, the respondents nos.2 to 4 cannot be faulted for not having issued a ration card to the petitioner,” the judge noted in her order dated October 25.

“In the light of the stand taken by the respondents nos.2 to 4 i.e. the Government of NCT of Delhi, it is deemed necessary to have the stand of the respondent no.1, i.e. the Union of India as well,” the order said.

The court directed the Centre and the Delhi government to file their counter-affidavits within a period of four weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on January 5.

In the petition filed through lawyers Jayshree Satpute and Tripti Poddar, the petitioner has alleged that in spite of applying for a ration card in September 2013 and making repeated representations, no action was taken by the authorities.

The petitioner informed that she and her family reside in a ”juggi’ in South Delhi and the ration card issued in her husband’s name in 2005 was unilaterally cancelled by authorities in 2013.

The petitioner said that she and her family are being denied their right to subsidised food grains owing to inactions and inefficiencies of the authorities.
She contended that was a violation of the Right to Food, Right to Health and Right to Life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

“The petitioner and her family continue to live in abject poverty, and are unable to provide food for their family, despite having applied for a ration card eight years prior,” the petitioner has stated.

The petitioner added that although she collected the free ration being distributed by the authorities during the pandemic, she “faced difficulties in accessing it on grounds” on account of the pendency of her ration card application.

In the petition, she has also sought compensation of Rs 25,000 from authorities.

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