New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed its serious concern over the cancellation of 4 crore ration cards in the country and sought a response from the Center and the states.
Explain that due to lack of link with Aadhaar card, about 4 crore ration cards were canceled. A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said, “The matter is very serious. We need to hear it. “
The observation was made on a petition filed by Koily Devi, the mother of an 11-year-old girl who died of starvation on 28 September 2017. The apex court said that the matter should not be considered adverse. The emphasis on Aadhaar and biometric authentication led to the cancellation of around 4 crore ration cards in the country. However, the petition stated that these canceled cards were fake.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, representing the petitioner, said that the matter relates to a larger issue. The bench told them that the relief sought was very ubiquitous and broadened the scope of the case. Gonsalves argued that more than 3 crore ration cards were canceled at the central level and 10 to 15 lakh cards were canceled at each state level.
The petition has argued that the real reason is that due to the technical system based on iris identification, thumbprints, Aadhaar capture, Internet functioning in rural and remote areas, etc., mass ration cards without notice to the concerned family Had to be canceled. Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, representing the Central Government, dismissed the petition as false.
The Solicitor General stated that there was a grievance redressal mechanism under the Food Safety Act and if Aadhaar is not available, alternative documents may be submitted. Lekhi said, “We have clearly stated that there is no basis or no basis, no one shall be denied the right to food.”
The court issued notice to the Center and sought its reply within four weeks in the petition pending since 2018. Gonsalves cited situations where fingerprints or iris scanners did not work in tribal areas.
No state has appointed an independent nodal officer under section 14 or a district grievance redressal officer under section 15. All states have given additional designations mechanically to existing officers. In many cases the officers given the additional designation belong to the Department of Food Supply and they are responsible for corruption in the food distribution system.