Delhi HC Ruling on Door-to-Door Ration Delivery scheme

The Delhi High Court (HC) recently scrapped a proposed scheme of the Delhi cabinet. The scheme was to supply rations at the doorstep of beneficiaries through government empanelled direct-to-home delivery agencies.

Who opposed the scheme and why?

In 2018, the Delhi cabinet approved a scheme called ‘Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna’. But the scheme was opposed by Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor (LG). He said that the scheme may not achieve its stated objective of eliminating corruption as it only replaces old service providers with new ones. He also said that the Delhi government should take the approval of the Central government since the NFSA (National Food Security Act) is enacted by Parliament.

However, the Delhi cabinet decided to go ahead and notified the scheme in February 2021. But Centre objected to the name of the scheme. Due to this, the Delhi cabinet dropped ‘Mukhya Mantri’ from the name of the scheme and decided to go ahead.

What did Delhi High Court say?

The Delhi Ration Dealers Union moved to the Delhi High Court challenging the scheme, arguing that the scheme bypasses existing fair price shop (FPS) owners. The Centre also supported the petitions and held that the scheme is in contravention of the NFSA (National Food Security Act).

The Delhi High Court held that a Delhi government can offer delivery of food grains at the doorstep, but with its own resources. The court also held that the Delhi Cabinet should refer the matter to the President for decision as there is a difference of opinion with the Lieutenant Governor (LG).

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