“Matter Is Too Serious” SC Seeks Centre’s Response On Plea Alleging Cancellation Of 3 Crore Ration Cards For Not Linking With Aadhaar & Subsequent Starvation Deaths

first_imgTop Stories”Matter Is Too Serious” SC Seeks Centre’s Response On Plea Alleging Cancellation Of 3 Crore Ration Cards For Not Linking With Aadhaar & Subsequent Starvation Deaths Srishti Ojha17 March 2021 1:24 AMShare This – xSupreme Court has on Wednesday sought Centre’s response on plea filed alleging the Cancellation of 3 crore ration cards on account of non-linking with Aadhar Cards by the Union Government and starvation deaths caused. A three-judge Bench led by CJI Bobde, issued the direction while hearing a PIL filed on the issue of implementation of a grievance redressal mechanism to ensure food to…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginSupreme Court has on Wednesday sought Centre’s response on plea filed alleging the Cancellation of 3 crore ration cards on account of non-linking with Aadhar Cards by the Union Government and starvation deaths caused. A three-judge Bench led by CJI Bobde, issued the direction while hearing a PIL filed on the issue of implementation of a grievance redressal mechanism to ensure food to everyone under the National Food Security Act.The Court issued notice after Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves appearing for the petitioner informed the Court that notice has not been issued on the petition but only an incidental order was made on aspect of grievance redressal mechanism.”But that is the principle issue here” : ASG Aman Lekhi stated”The Principle issue is cancellation of 3 crore cards and starvation deaths” Gonsalves said.Sr Adv Colin Gonsalves appearing for the petitioner submitted that this petition deals with an alarming state of affairs, because Central govt has canceled three crore ration cards without notice to beneficiary.”We see seriousness of the problem. I have dealt with this matter with relation to Belghat. You are asking for omnibus kind of relief. You should have the matter investigated by Jurisdictional High Court. This kind of thing will not help us or anybody. If you make an allegation about entire country, this court cannot go into that.” the Bench observed”The Better thing is to approach jurisdictional High Courts. We don’t think its an appropriate remedy. ” the Bench states”Cancellation has been done on Central level. Three crore cards have been cancelled on Central level” Gonsalves responded.”There’s nothing in law that states HC can’t set aside cancellation of Aadhar cards.” The Bench said”No aadhar cards are not found cancelled, the tribals either don’t have aadhar cards, or the identification doesn’t work in tribal and rural areas. Because of this reliance on Aadhar cards, can you imagine 3 crore cards are gone!” Gonsalves submitted”Three crore cards have gone?” the bench asked”Yes. Starvation deaths are taking place. 3 crores ration cards have gone! I can show UOI declaration. Its an announcement of the Prime Minister.” Gonsalves submitted.”We aren’t belittling the problem. We were only thinking if states should. But we will consider it and keep it for final hearing.” the Bench said.ASG Aman Lekhi submitted that apart from the fact that High Court’s should deal with it, the other objection is that there is a grievance redressal mechanism under National Food security Act which hasn’t been approached.”The important thing is if you have cancelled the cards. We were persuaded to consider the case because of their statement that Aadhar cards have been cancelled by the authority. ” the Bench said.ASG Lekhi clarified that government circulars stipulate that if Aadhar is nor available, alternative mechanisms are in place, ration cards will still be issued. And if they aren’t, its the responsibility of the State government, not the Central government.”The government notification is explicit that absence of Aadhar will not lead to denial of Ration Cards.” Lekhi submitted.The Bench has said that it will consider the case and hear it for final hearing, and has notice returnable in 4 weeks.The Bench further clarified that they are asking the government’s response only because of the Aadhar issue.”The matter is too serious” the Bench observed.The present PIL was filed highlighting the starvation death cases across the country & alleged in the plea that people died of starvation after they were denied rations under the government social welfare scheme due to absence of Aadhaar cardThe petition documents starvation deaths taking place in Jharkhand, U.P., Odisha, Karnataka, M.P., Maharashtra, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana. News reports throughout India confirm that genuine cards were cancelled without notice. The Hunger Watch Report of the Right to Food Campaign in 2020 characterised the hunger situation in India as grave. India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2020 and is in the “Serious Hunger Category”. Given the huge numbers of persons living at the brink of starvation it appears that mighty India has become the hunger capital of the world.The petitioner sought an independent investigation into starvation deaths in the country, the restoration of all cancelled ration cards and compensation for the death of her daughter by starvation. A recent order of Telangana High Court on this issue directed that fresh ration cards should be issued to all those whose cards were cancelled “without issuing notice to them”. The High Court also directed that biometric authentication be exempted. The Advocate General of the State made a statement which was recorded “that the State will continue provide food and essential supplies to the poor and needy without asking for their ration cards pending further orders”.The petition was argued by Mr. Colin Gonsalves assisted by Ms. Olivia Bang, Mr Aditya Srivastava and Ms Anupradha Singh, Advs.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img

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