A day after President Pranab Mukherjee promulgated the national food security ordinance, a petitioner claimed it was "unconstitutional" and urged the Supreme Court to quash it for allegedly being inspired by the UPA's pre-poll propaganda.
Petitioner advocate Manohar Lal Sharma said that the constitutional provisions on powers of the president to promulgate ordinances during recess of parliament were only to deal with a situation requiring emergent legislations.
Describing the promulgation of the ordinance as "unconstitutional", the petitioner contended that a bill to enact food security law was introduced in parliament in the first week of May but it was allegedly not pushed by the government.
Can a bill that had been introduced in parliament but not debated be made into a law by taking the ordinance route? asked the petition.
Describing the government move as "malafide", the petition asked if constitutional provisions could be allowed to be misused by the ruling parties for pre-election propaganda.
Recalling the earlier proceedings in the apex court on the working of the public distribution system (PDS) and its revamp, the petitioner said the government did not act in 2010 when the judges told it to distribute food grain free to the needy if there were inadequate provisions for its storage.
Sharma said millions of tonnes of wheat had rotten because procurement agencies did not have storage capacity.