Delhi HC directs AAP Govt to ensure ration shops remain open during lockdown

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New Delhi [India], April 27 (ANI): Delhi High Court on Monday directed the AAP government to provide food grains to the poor and marginalised people during the lockdown period and to also ensure all ration shops remain open and operational all seven days in the national capital. Delhi HC issued these directives while hearing a plea of NGO seeking directions to the Delhi government to ensure no one goes hungry on technical grounds like want of proper identity proof during the COVID-19 lockdown. The court passed a slew of directions to the Delhi government while hearing a petition that stated denial of access to food grains to the poor, underprivileged and marginalized sections in the Capital. A division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh also stated that the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) shall ensure that the Sub-Divisional Magistrates of each district carry out strict and regular monitoring and oversight of the distribution of food grains, as afore directed and upload the details of the shop-wise distribution of ration to both the PDS and non-PDS residents on their official website, at the end of each day. "We, therefore, direct that, in the meantime, the GNCTD shall ensure that, all ration shops remain operational and disburse PDS food grains, in accordance with the policy formulated by both the Central Government, as well as, the State Government in this regard," the court said. The court said further to ensure delivery of the requisite food grains from the PDS ration shops, on a regular basis between 09:00 a.m. to 01:00 p.m. and 03:00 p.m. to 07:00 p.m., on all seven days of the week," the court said in its order. Both judges also observed that the distress caused to the residents of the city, by the ongoing lockdown imposed in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, has been further aggravated by the stated denial of access to food grains to the poor, underprivileged and marginalised sections of the populace. The Delhi government has also been asked to publicise its policies and the helpline numbers on its website and through the electronic and print media. At the same time, the nodal officers shall address the grievances and update the action taken on the website. The high court has put the matter for next hearing on May 6 after respondents seek time to file a reply. (ANI)