Orissa High Court quashed a state government notification on verification of ration cards at PDS centres and instead asked the government to conduct verification of food cards after a door-to-door survey.
Disposing of a public interest litigation, a Division Bench of V Gopal Gowda and Justice B N Mohaptra ordered Orissa government to conduct a fresh survey to ascertain the BPL and APL families in the state after moving from door-to-door as per the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court.
Senior advocate Madhusudan Panda had filed the PIL seeking the court’s intervention to stop the ongoing verification of the ration cards in the state which was being done contrary to the guidelines of the Apex Court.
“The ongoing verification drive of ration cards was contrary to the Supreme Court order passed on August 31, 2010 in which it was asked for a fresh door-to-door survey to issue ration cards across the country”, the petitioner had contended.
Instead of conducting the fresh survey to ascertain the BPL and APL families, the state government was conducting verification of ration cards which were issued more than 15 years ago, Panda had argued.
The petition had also pointed out that the claims made by the Union government that there was surplus food stock in the country was nothing but a blatant lie since the PDS allotments to several states, including that of Orissa, had not been revised for past 15 years as no fresh ration card was issued during this period.
It may be mentioned here that the Orissa government had come out with an advertisement in several newspapers asking the ration card holders to surrender their cards before the PDS centers for verification.