New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday pulled up the state government for its lackadaisical approach on the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and asked the concerned senior official of the Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department to appear before it on May 9, the next date fixed for the hearing.
The court order came on the Delhi government’s reply sought in a contempt petition filed by the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan. In its main petition, the organisation sought disbursal of subsidised foodgrains to beneficiaries under the NFSA without Aadhaar cards.
Under the NFSA, five kgs of foodgrains per person is provided each month at Rs 1-3 per kg to over 80 crore people.
On September 1, 2017, the High Court directed the Delhi government to frame rules and operationalise all provisions of the NFSA in a time-bound manner.
In its contempt petition, the NGO said that the Delhi government had not complied with the order till date. “It has not framed rules for implementing the grievance redress and accountability provisions under the NFSA and no social audit has been undertaken. There is no functional State Food Commission in Delhi,” the petition said.
Proper implementation of the NFSA is crucial to ensure food security for the poor and the marginalised, the organisation said.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani on Friday said that it was completely dissatisfied by the Delhi government’s reply.
It noted that the government’s reply showed that the grievance redressal and accountability rules had not been promulgated, more than five years after the law was passed and 19 months after the Delhi High Court order.
“The government’s affidavit shows that the file regarding framing of rules has just been transferred between various departments and ministries, with no concrete action taken,” the bench observed.
It also noted that the concerned officer of the Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department had failed to attend the hearing. Taking strict note of the non-compliance, the court ordered the officer to appear before it on May 9.