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Delhi HC sets aside AAP govt’s doorstep delivery ration scheme

New Delhi, May 19, 2022- The Delhi High Court on Thursday set aside the Delhi government’s doorstep delivery of rations for the poor in which the Aam Aadmi Party-led government had a long stand-off with the Centre.

The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh delivered the judgment in the plea filed by Delhi Sarkari Ration Dealers Sangh opposing the scheme.

A detailed judgement will be made available later in the day.

On January 10, the bench had reserved its judgment after hearing the plea. Prior to that the court had asked the Delhi government how their scheme would prevent corruption after its counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that the doorstep delivery scheme is aimed at preventing the leakages in the distribution of food grains.

“You’re only replacing one set of people with another,” the court said, adding that the law will take its course and whosoever is found to be indulging in any irregularity, can be proceeded against.

It could happen with new bidders also, it said.

In the earlier hearing, Singhvi had argued that the scheme ensures actual ration delivery to the needy and both the scheme and the National Food Security Act (NFSA) have the same basics.

Referring to Section 12 of NFSA, which provides that both Central and state governments shall endeavour to “progressively undertake necessary reforms” in the targeted public distribution system, he contended that the door-to-door ration scheme fulfills these prime objectives.

Singhvi also submitted that it holistically envisages conception and financial assistance at the macro level by the Centre, majority operationality to the state government, and repeatedly says “ensure delivery” to the entitled persons.

Delhi’s ruling AAP and the BJP-led Centre have been locked in a political tussle over the doorstep ration delivery scheme since it was announced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on January 26 last year.  (Agency)

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