HC asks Delhi govt to simplify process of accessing ration by needy

New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has asked the AAP government to simplify the procedure of getting ration by poor and needy people who have Aadhaar cards and voter IDs but do not possess ration cards.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said if there is any need for a change in the policy decision, it shall also be simplified by authorities looking at the need of the people at large.

The court directed authorities that if any change in the policy decision is carried out for simplification in the procedure to get the ration, it will be notified and informed to all the fair price shop owners.

The court was hearing a plea by NGO Nayee Soch Society seeking direction to the Delhi government to provide ration to the needy on production of their Aadhaar cards or voter IDs at fair price shops functioning in their area.

The plea also sought direction to authorities to provide the details of citizens who have taken the benefit of ration by way of Aadhaar cards during the period of lockdown since March 25 till date by way of applying on the Food department's website.

The petition claimed non-availability of ration to people who have Aadhaar cards or voter IDs but they do not possess ration cards at present.

It said these people ought to be provided ration as per the government norms from the nearest available fair price shop.

The counsel for the Delhi government submitted that they are making available ration to those who are otherwise eligible and have their Aadhaar cards and voter IDs despite the fact that they are not in a position to present their ration cards.

The counsel further said people who are non-residents of Delhi or migrant workers or stranded in the city during the lockdown period are being provided ration, and added that authorities will look into the list of people provided by the petitioner and ration will be provided to them from the nearest fair price shop.

The court was also informed by the government's counsel that the NGO can approach authorities with a list of more people who are eligible for getting ration on the basis of Aadhaar cards or voter IDs or can approach MLAs of their particular area who are having emergency relief food coupons.

After noting the submissions of the government's counsel, the bench said, 'We expect from respondents that they shall also keep in mind to simplify the procedure for getting ration instead of going on the website by poor and needy people. These aspects of the matter will also be appreciated by respondents and if there is any need for change in the policy decision, the same shall be simplified by respondents looking to the need of the people at large.' The court also said the statements made by the counsel may also be incorporated in the government's advisory or notes or communication to all the fair price shop owners in Delhi so that it can be effectively implemented by the shop owners and the benefit of simplified procedure can reach to the public at large who are in need of ration. PTI SKV HMP KJ