Monday, April 15, 2024

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    Ration card only for getting essential commodities, not address proof: Delhi HC | Action Punjab

    ACTION PUNJAB NEWS Desk: Delhi High Court has ruled that a ration card is only issued for the purpose of obtaining essential commodities through the public distribution system and cannot be used to prove address or residence.

    While hearing petitions from former Kathputli Colony residents seeking alternative accommodation under the rehabilitation scheme following the area’s redevelopment, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh ruled that the requirement of a ration card as a mandatory document to claim benefits under the scheme was arbitrary and illegal.

    “As per the definition of the Ration Card, the intent of issuing the same is that it aims to distribute the essential food items by way of the fair price shops. Therefore, it does not amount to becoming an identity proof of residence for any Ration Card holder,” the Court said.

    “There is no mechanism set up by the authority issuing Ration Cards to ensure that the holder of the ration card is staying at the address mentioned in the ration card,” it added.

    The Court further observed, “The aim of the ration card is to ensure that the citizens of this country are provided food grains at a reasonable price. Hence, it is not a reliable source of proof of address since the scope is limited to the distribution of food items by way of the Public Distribution System.”

    The petitioners claimed that authorities violated their trust and committed fraud against Kathputli Colony slum dwellers by abruptly changing the eligibility criteria in 2015, following the demolition of the entire colony, as they incorrectly mandated the requirement of a separate ration card for the first-floor dwellers of jhuggi. 

    The court noted that a 2015 gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution prohibits the use of a ration card as a document of identity or proof of residence and that fresh ration cards were not being issued in Delhi because the city had reached its state-wise ceiling of eligible households based on the 2011 census.

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    Author: actionpunjab

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