In a significant order, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Haryana government to cancel around 1.69 lakh below poverty line(BPL) cards fraudulently issued to ineligible persons and to take stringent action against the officials involved in the process.
The division bench headed by justice MM Kumar ordered that the benefits like employment given under such BPL cards should also be withdrawn and the detailed action taken report should be submitted within 2 weeks.
The directions came on a public interest litigation filed by one Pardeep Kumar of Jind district seeking directions to the various authorities of Haryana government to extend the benefits of BPL cards only to the deserving families. It was submitted that various officials have extended the undue benefits of BPL cards to several well to do families and strict action should be taken against them.
OP Sheoran, director, Haryana rural development department submitted the reports of various districts giving details of ineligible card holders. It was informed that in all 1,68,676 BPL cards have been issued to those who are not eligible.
The bench observed that the union government has made the public distribution system as the first step to give safety and hope to the population living below poverty line. “It is trying to supply the food grains upto some limited quantity to the population and the government subsidy is availed to provide food grains under the public distribution system. In addition it is to ensure employment under scheme including Jawahar Rojgar Yojana. The scheme further provided that it attracts only the poorest of the poor people who come forward,” remarked the bench.
However, the state counsel informed the bench that in some of the cases the action is under process but a decision at the state level has to be taken.
The bench directed the secretary rural development department as well as secretary home to file the detailed affidavit about the action taken in the case within 2 weeks.