New Delhi [India], October 11 (ANI): Delhi government on Monday questioned the Centre over the discriminatory treatment being meted to the national capital in implementing the doorstep ration delivery scheme in the union territory.
Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain wrote to Union Minister Piyush Goyal while referring to the Delhi High Court order regarding the matter.
"We have received a letter on October 8, 2021, from the Department of Food and Public Distribution of the Central Government. It says that the doorstep delivery of the ration scheme of the Delhi Government is against the provisions of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and therefore should not be implemented. This letter has been issued by the central government on a representation made by an association of ration shopkeepers of Delhi namely Delhi Sarkari Ration Dealers Sangh (DSRDS)," Hussain wrote in his letter to Piyush Goyal.
Hussain said DSRDS had approached Delhi High Court seeking a stay on this scheme on these very grounds. Before Delhi High Court too, ration shopkeepers had claimed that this scheme was against NFSA and therefore it should have stayed.
The letter said that Delhi High Court did not accept their argument and refused to grant a stay. High Court allowed Delhi Government to implement the scheme.
Hussain questioned why Delhi is being singled out for discriminatory treatment and objections are being raised to prevent the implementation of a scheme that is undeniably and irrefutably in the public interest and will subserve the needs of the most downtrodden and marginalised sections of society. He said several other states such as Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana have already rolled out home delivery of ration.
"It has repeatedly been pointed out in our letters in the past and it is once again reiterated that this scheme is completely in accord with the relevant provisions of the NFSA," the Delhi Minister said.
Hussain finds it unfortunate that the petitioner association (DSRDS) in the writ petition is attempting to overreach the order passed by the High Court of Delhi on September 27, 2021 and is thereby interfering with the course of administration of justice, which amounts to committing contempt of court.
"We, therefore, request you to withdraw the letter under reply, lest an impression be created that. the central government is a party to the attempt of the petitioner to obstruct and overreach orders passed by the High Court," urged Hussain.
Earlier, Delhi High Court on October 1 gave a green signal to the Delhi Government to divert ration delivery to cardholders at doorsteps if there is no shortage in fair price shops.
Following this, Delhi Government on October 5 again sent the proposal of a doorstep delivery scheme for ration to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
In June, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also sent a file of the doorstep ration delivery scheme to the office of Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal.
Kejriwal had earlier informed the LG that all objections raised by the Centre have been rectified, and asked why the scheme was being stopped, even though the High Court has not put a stay on it.
The scheme was originally named the MMGGRY (Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana) but was later dropped following a notification on March 9 by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs that said that subsidised foodgrains allocated for distribution under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) cannot be used for schemes under a different name. (ANI)