Apex court rejects PIL against food ordinance

Apex court rejects PIL against food ordinance

Apex court rejects PIL against food ordinance

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to examine a PIL seeking quashing of an ordinance on food security based on the allegation that it was brought by the United Progressive Alliance government for political gains.

A bench of Justices T S Thakur and Vikramjit Sen instead asked the PIL petitioner advocate M L Sharma to approach the high court with his plea. The court said it could not see any reason as to how the petitioner’s fundamental right was violated with the promulgation of the ordinance. Violation of fundamental rights is a basic requirement to hear the petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution.

It also shot down Sharma’s argument that ordinance was merely a political gimmick, by saying that it was not going to examine if the ordinance was passed with a political purpose or not.

The petitioner then pointed out the government had failed to comply with apex court’s earlier direction given in 2010 to distribute surplus food rotting in the government’s badly managed godown to the poor and needy and decided to bring this ordinance to ensure food security as “election gimmick”.

 “That is a different matter. We are dealing with that matter in a separate PIL and if you want to raise such arguments, you should try and intervene in that matter,” the court said.

Notably, a separate PIL filed by PUCL is already pending in the apex court for streamlining the public distribution system.

In his PIL, Sharma raised several questions including if Article 123 can be invoked without any emergency situation and if ordinance route can be used by the political party in power to further its election propaganda and manifesto.

He further pointed out that the decision would burden public exchequer with Rs 1.23 lakh crore.

The ordinance, given assent by President Pranab Mukherjee on July 5,  requires the government to procure estimated foodgrain of 612.3 lakh tonne.
, which will be distributed among two-third of country’s population.