Delhi High Court directs distribution of Dry Ration to 1400 Non PDS migrant labourer families stranded in Delhi

Lal Chand Rai & Anr. v. Government of NCT of Delhi W.P. (C) 3249 of 2020 | Delhi High Court | Status: Disposed Of | |

The nationwide lockdown was imposed on 24.03. 2020 by the Government in view of the spread of Covid 19, commonly referred to as corona virus. Although the nationwide lockdown was imposed, the Government hardly made any measures or meaningful provisions for providing aid and emergency services for the poor, particularly as all employment came to an end, wages were stopped, access to medical services were restricted on account on severe transportation closures. People were left to starve.

Although the Central and State Governments made several announcements for relief packages whereby every individual would be eligible for enhanced entitlement of ration free of cost, these packages did not take into accounts thousands of families who did not have ration cards and therefore where automatically excluded from availing any relief or benefits.

On 21st April, the Chief Minister of Delhi announced that ration coupons would be distributed to the poor through MLAs and MPs, each of whom would be given 2000 coupons which they can distribute in their constituencies so that the poor can procure ration, however the same failed as thousand of families were left out in the process.

Subsequently, the High Court of Delhi in “Delhi Rozi- Roti Adhikar Abhiyan v. Union of India & Ors. [W. P. (c) 2161/2017] vide order dated 27.04.2020 directed the GNCTD to ensure that all ration shops remain operational and disburse PDS food grains. The GNCTD was further directed to ensure food grains is distributed to the poor, needy and marginalized non- PDS residents from PDS as well as other distribution centres to be set up by the State for the said purpose.

In view of the directions made by the High Court of Delhi, the petitioner approached the Hon’ble High Court seeking distribution of dry ration to approximately 1500 non- PDS families of migrant workers living in various slums across Delhi. The Hon’ble High Court after considering the arguments forwarded by both parties at length directed that nodal officers be appointed who shall make sure that 5 kgs food grains per person in the form of dry ration is distributed these families from centres set by the Government for this purpose. It was also directed that coupons/vouchers be given to these beneficiaries so that they can get the food grains grinded from designated “atta chakkis” free of cost. The matter was accordingly disposed of.