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New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Thursday, May 19, set aside the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s doorstep ration delivery scheme, Mukhymantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna, stating that the scheme did not have the approval of the lieutenant governor.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh ruled that the Delhi government can launch another scheme for its doorstep delivery scheme if intended, but cannot use grains provided by the Union government under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) for Mukhymantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna. The court’s order came in response to two petitions filed by Delhi Sarkari Ration Dealers Sangh, challenging the scheme.
The owners of fair-price shops in Delhi have been opposed to the scheme, for it affected them. Backing fair price shop owners, the Union government last year supported their plea and argued that fair price shops play an important role in the implementation of NFSA.
Although the scheme was to be launched on March 25 last year, it was stalled due to the differences over the matter between the Union and the Delhi governments and has since become a major flashpoint between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and AAP.
Last year in March, the Union food and consumer affairs ministry had raised two objections to the scheme: one, it opposed the use of the term Mukhyamantri (chief minister) for a scheme involving the distribution of food grains allocated under the NFSA; two, it said any change to the existing delivery system would require an amendment to the NFSA, which can only be done through parliament.
While the BJP has been arguing that AAP’s scheme is in violation of NFSA and would deprive migrants of food grains, AAP has been of the view that would weed out corruption by the “ration mafia” to ensure that provisions reached all genuine beneficiaries.
(With PTI inputs)