Door-to-door ration scheme ‘progressive reform’, Delhi govt tells HC

The Delhi government on Monday submitted before the high court that the proposed door-to-door ration scheme is a ‘progressive reform’ for the marginalised, stating that the proposed scheme is in line with the objective of the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

A Delhi High Court division bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh was hearing a plea filed by the Delhi Sarkari Ration Dealers Sangh.

Arguing that the scheme ensures actual ration delivery to the needy, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Delhi government, submitted that both the scheme and the NFSA have the same basics.

Referring to Section 12 of NFSA, which provides that both Central and state governments shall endeavour to “progressively undertake necessary reforms” in the targeted public distribution system, Singhvi contended that the door-to-door ration scheme fulfils these prime objectives.

Singhvi also submitted that it holistically envisages conception and financial assistance at the macro level by the Centre, majority operationality to the state government, and repeatedly says “ensure delivery” to the entitled persons.

Further hearing on the matter will continue on December 3.

On November 15, the Supreme Court had refused to interfere with the Delhi High Court’s interim order on door-to-door supply of foodgrains by the Delhi government.

The court had on September 27 cleared the way for the implementation of the doorstep delivery of ration scheme, against which the Centre had moved the Supreme Court.

The Delhi government had assured the Supreme Court that it will not implement its door-to-door ration delivery scheme till the Delhi High Court takes up the main petition pending there against the validity of the scheme.

The Delhi government also brought on record that its scheme is “fully compatible with the one nation, one ration card (ONORC) scheme”.

The Centre, in its plea, had told the top court that the Delhi government’s scheme will create an “opaque” PDS, which will put at risk numerous beneficiaries, especially migrant workers, who are covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the national capital.

The Centre contended that the door-to-door ration scheme not only has “material deficiencies”, but is also in stark contradiction to the NFSA, 2013, and may also have adverse implications in the implementation of the ONORC scheme.

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