SC tells Centre to stop pilferage in PDS

SC tells Centre to stop pilferage in PDS

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, asked the Central government to put in place a proper mechanism to check leakage of foodgrain in Public Distribution System (PDS).

A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur asked the government to file its reply on how it intends to check the continuing misappropriations in the PDS system. It said that it will pass an order if the government fails to put in place a vigilance mechanism.

“If you do not do, then we are left with no option but to pass an order. We would be compelled to say that government officials are not concerned with PDS and have no time for it,” the bench said.

It asked the Centre to file its response on this issue on Monday when it will further hear the case.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) that complained that there were largescale corruption and irregularities in the PDS mechanism.

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

The court had appointed a committee headed by Justice D P Wadhwa to examine the working of PDS. The committee has submitted reports from time to time before the apex court.

The court had directed the Centre to allocate additional five million tonnes of foodgrains to the 150 poorest districts under the supervision of a committee appointed by it.

Earlier, the bench had expressed its anguish over the continuing illegalities in the implementation of public distribution system despite being monitored by it for 11 years during which 22 reports were filed.

Noting that the poor continue to suffer, the apex court said the time has come to wind up the matter and pass an order directing the Centre on effective implementation of the PDS system.

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