Rajasthan High Court Directs Food Corporation of India to Ensure Maximum Benefit for Poor and Not to Wait for Court Directions

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The Rajasthan High Court has issued notices to the National Disaster Management Authority and the Food Corporation of India. The issuance is in light of a petition seeking distribution of food grains to the needy and poor under the National Food Security Act, 2013.

Facts of the Case 

The National Food Security Act, 2013 alias the Right to Food Act, aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people. The Parliament signed the Bill into law on 12 September 2013, retroactive to 5 July 2013.

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA 2013) converts into legal entitlements for existing food security programs of the Government of India. Briefly, it includes:

  • The Midday Meal Scheme
  • Integrated Child Development Services Scheme
  • The Public Distribution System
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Further, the NFSA 2013 recognizes maternity entitlements. The Midday Meal Scheme and the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme are universal in nature. Whereas the PDS will reach about two-thirds of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas).

In lieu of the above to ensure maximum benefit for the poor, the Court gave the decision. Thus, Rajasthan HC directed the food corporation of India to not wait for specific orders form Courts. This will, resultantly, help the poor.

Arguments of the Parties 

The Court directed that the assertions made by the petitioner are correct. Hence, the Union of India and its authorities shall issue necessary directions in order to ensure maximum benefit to the poor and needy people to the State of Rajasthan.

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The Court heard the PIL filed by Himakshi Alaria, 4th-year student of Rajasthan Law University via video conferencing. She had questioned why the government was providing benefits under the Act based on old data. She also questioned why benefits were not being disbursed on the basis of the present list of actual beneficiaries. Further, the exact words of the plea are as follow:

The present PIL essentially [seeks] as to why the Union of India, FCI are allocating NFSA Programme to the State of Rajasthan. She submits that based on the list of beneficiaries. As to why the benefit made available to the poor in the State has not been computed on the basis of the present list of actual beneficiaries in the NFSA Programme.” 

The Court recorded the petitioner’s submission.

Court’s Observation

The bench comprised of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Satish Kumar Sharma observed that there is no special outreach. The organizations responsible were waiting for orders instead. The Court took the decision so as to avoid similar circumstances in future.

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The Court has also asked them to extend the most possible benefit to the poor, without awaiting further directions from the Court.

Court’s Order

The Rajasthan High Court has notified the National Disaster Management Authority and the Food Corporation of India in a petition seeking distribution of food grains to the needy and poor under the National Food Security Act, 2013.

Moreover, the Court highlighted that the Corporation should not wait for the prior orders in case of emergencies.


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