Surrender fake ration cards or face criminal prosecution: govt

The warning was issued in deference to the Apex Court direction on August 31 that a warning be issued asking all the bogus card holders to surrender the cards forthwith, in any event, within two weeks of the date of advertisement, otherwise criminal prosecution may be initiated against them.

The Food & Public Distribution department order today asked bogus card holders to surrender their card to the concerned authorities of the respective State/UT Governments forthwith, failing which action will be taken against them under relevant provisions of the law, according to an official statement. There are about 18-crore ration card holders under different categories in India presently. A large number of them are reported to be bogus. In Delhi itself, it has been found that there are around 65,000 fake ration cards.

In order to streamline the functioning of TPDS, a 9-point action plan is under implementation by States/Union Territory (UT) governments since July 2006. As part of this action plan, State/UT governments have been advised to continuously review lists of Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Antyodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) families to eliminate bogus ration cards and issue ration cards to eligible families.

Instructions have also been issued to all State/UT governments early this month to carry out an intensive campaign to eliminate ineligible/bogus ration cards and units contained therein and take action against defaulters and those responsible for issuing ration cards to ineligible families and persons.

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