New Delhi, March 8 : The Delhi High Court, taking up a petition, on Wednesday, in a notice asked the Centre and others why was Aadhaar card mandatory for getting subsidised food grain through the Public Distribution System.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal sought the response from the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and the Delhi government before April 24, the next date of hearing.
The public interest litigation filed by NGO Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan sought quashing of the Centre’s February 8 notification that made it mandatory for beneficiaries to possess Aadhaar cards for purchasing subsidised food grain under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
The Centre’s notification is applicable in all states and Union Territories, except Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.
The plea said due to the notification’s implementation, people are being deprived of their rightful entitlement under the NFSA and it violates Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
Buyers of ration under the NFSA, who do not possess the Aadhaar cards, or are not yet enrolled for it but are desirous of availing subsidies under the NFSA, are required to file applications for Aadhaar enrolment by June 30.
The plea said in October 2015, a Supreme Court interim order had allowed for voluntary use of Aadhaar and ruled that no citizen can be denied a service or subsidy for its want.
The petitioner sought directions to enforce what it said was the fundamental right to food to Delhi residents, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups dependent on subsidised food grain distributed by the Delhi government through the Public Distribution System.