The Food and Supplies department of Delhi government has been directed by the Central Information Commission (CIC) to put up on its website and also inform applicants under the below poverty line (BPL) category the reason why he or she has not received the card.
Suraj Pal Singh, a resident of Motilal Nehru camp JJ colony near Munirka, had applied for a ration card under BPL category in March 2009.
After he failed to receive the same, he filed a query with the department under the Right to Information (RTI) Act in December 2010 asking for the reason.
The Public Information Officer (PIO) simply replied that as per the March 2009 rules of the department, fresh BPL category people living in the JJ slums will not be issued cards. Not satisfied, Singh approached the CIC.
Observing that the PIO's reason appears to be going against the stated policies of the government and various Supreme Court judgments, Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi on Tuesday said, "The Right to Food has been accepted as being an implied fundamental right of citizens. Hence it appears that there should be clear justification if
government had decided to stop issuing BPL ration cards to any set of citizens."
Gandhi then directed the department to inform the applicant and also put on the department's website the exact reasons for denial and asked for a compliance report by June 30.