Specify quantum of additional foodgrains, states told

A bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma directed the Centre to allocate additional five million tonnes of foodgrains to be distributed in 150 poorest districts of the country under the supervision of Justice D P Wadhwa Committee appointed by the court.

The court also said that it is the responsibility of the state governments to provide food to the poor and ensure that no one died due to starvation and malnutrition.

Two weeks time

“No one should die of starvation and malnutrition in poor districts. We direct Chief Secretaries of all states to indicate within two weeks how much additional foodgrains are required,” the court said.

The court also directed all the chief secretaries to ensure that proper computerisation of the public distribution system in order to reduce the chances of pilferage and corruption.
“There is a huge pilferage and corruption in PDS and it could be reduced by computerisation. This has to be done at a great speed. You have to computerise the whole system in order to bring total transparency,” the Bench said.

The Bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Peoples Union for Civil Liberties alleging large-scale corruption and irregularities in the PDS mechanism.

The apex court had earlier said that all states should emulate the PDS model adopted by Tamil Nadu which has been supplying rice at Rs 1 per kg and subsidised fortified atta and pulses to BPL families without much hassles and complaint of pilferage and misappropriation.

The court on July 22 had questioned the rationale of below poverty line criteria once again by directing the Planning Commission to explain as to how it proposed to provide 2400 calories to every citizen by fixing Rs 10 in rural and Rs 20 in urban areas.

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