Gauhati High Court orders Assam government to identify ration card beneficiaries in Guwahati slums and expand aid to needy
the High Court of Gauhati asked the state government to identify the beneficiaries of the ration cards in the slums of Guwahati.
The bench of Judge N. Kotiswar Singh and Judge Malasri Nandi also ordered that families needing help with COVID-19 pandemic get help at once, in the form of food and other daily support quickly.
The order came on the PIL filed by a Syeda Mehzebin Rahman from Guwahati concerning the issuance of ration cards for households in the slums (in the slums of Uzanbazar, Bharalumukh, Santipur and Bhutnath) of the district of Guwahati.
It was argued that although some of the beneficiaries were identified for the purpose of issuing ration cards, however, the beneficiaries could not be identified by the relevant councilor of the respective municipal councils, therefore, question no. could not be adjusted.
It has been argued that since the election did not take place in Municipal Corporation of Gauhati, there is no neighborhood commissioner who could identify the applicants.
In view of this, the Court ordered that as a temporary arrangement, Food and Civilian Supplies Inspector attached to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (M), or any competent authority to be identified in the absence of the neighborhood commissioner for the purpose of identifying beneficiaries.
Similar instructions have been issued to provide food and other daily supports to those families who have been previously identified by paralegal volunteers and who qualify for the granting of such a benefit being affected by COVID.
“Deputy Commissioner Kamrup (M) will undertake the aforementioned exercise within 8 weeks following the National Food Security Act 2013 and the directives issued in this regard, including 08.08.2013. We also clarify that if the benefits under this Act could not be extended due to lack of documentation or identification document, the same may be specified in this Court so that an appropriate order can be made. ,“said the court in releasing the case for a new hearing on March 2, 2022.
Case title – SYEDA MEHZEBIN RAHMAN v. UNION OF INDIA AND 7 ORS
Click here to read / download the order