‘Centre’s food grains, no approval from LG’: High Court stays Delhi government’s doorstep delivery scheme

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday quashed the door-to-door ration distribution scheme of the Aam Aadmi Party-led government, saying the Centre’s food grains cannot be used for the scheme. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that the scheme for home delivery of ration had not received the approval of the Lieutenant Governor.

This decision has come on a petition by the Delhi Government Ration Dealers Association challenging the door-to-door ration distribution scheme of the Arvind Kejriwal-led government. The petition by a group of FPS owners had challenged the scheme and demanded that it be declared ultra vires (beyond one’s legal power or authority).

Due to differences between the Delhi government and the Centre, the door step delivery of the Delhi government’s ration scheme was stalled. The scheme was to be launched on March 25, 2021, but the Union Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs, in a letter to the Delhi government on March 19, raised two objections – the use of the word Chief Minister for the scheme related to the distribution of allocated food grains under the National Food Security Act. (NFSA) and any change in the delivery mechanism requires amendment to the NSFA which can only be done by Parliament.

This scheme was a fight between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre and the AAP rulers in Delhi on many issues, such as the BJP said, this scheme violated the provisions of NFSA and would deprive the migrants of food grains and AAP Said that this would uproot the ration mafia and ensure that all the beneficiaries get their share.

On 15 November, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain two separate petitions (one by the Centre and the other by the FPS owners) against the interim order of the Delhi High Court on 27 September, which had asked the AAP government to fix Price shops were allowed to stop supplying food grains. Those who have chosen doorstep delivery over physical collection of ration. The High Court’s interim order also effectively carried forward the state government’s plan.

first published:May 19, 2022, 4:37 p.m.

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