District magistrate cancels registration of 78 fair price shops in Ghaziabad
Claiming foul play in the allotment of fair price shops under the previous government, Daya Ram Bhargav moved Allahabad high court and filed a writ petition against the procedure adopted for issuing licences to these shops after the district supplies officer invited applications for allotment on December 2 last year.noida Updated: Jul 11, 2017 22:30 IST
The Ghaziabad district magistrate has cancelled the allotment of 78 fair price shops (ration shops) following directions by the Allahabad high court. This after it was found that the procedures and guidelines were blatantly violated by officials during the allotment of the fair price shops under the previous Samajwadi Party government.
Claiming foul play in the allotment of fair price shops under the previous government, Daya Ram Bhargav moved Allahabad high court and filed a writ petition against the procedure adopted for issuing licences to these shops after the district supplies officer invited applications for allotment on December 2 last year.
On January 2, the district-level selection committee, sans the additional district magistrate, allotted 78 shops.
“A perusal of minutes of the meeting of the Selection Committee dated 2.12.2016 indicates that selection of fair price shop dealers have been done in a meeting held on 02.12.2016, however, so far as the procedure of drawing lottery is concerned, from the averments in the affidavit filed today, it is more than apparent that the lottery has not been drawn in a transparent manner i.e. in front of the applicants after giving them notice of the date of drawing lottery (sic),” the high court said in its April 10 order.
The court also observed that it was also not on record as to whether any independent person had taken out the chit in the lottery which was drawn only by the members of the committee. The purpose of drawing the lottery, provided in August 17, 2002 government order, is to make the selection of the dealer a transparent procedure.
In its final order in May, the court said, “It is further apparent from the record and it is admitted to the respondents that before drawing the lottery on 2.1.2017, no information was given to the applicants and as such the representatives of the applicants were not present when the lottery was drawn. It was a closed door meeting wherein the selection of fair price shop dealer for the District has been made by lottery system (sic).”
An inquiry was also conducted by joint commissioner, food & civil supplies (Meerut). The inquiry report found that the selection committee was not formed as per guidelines, the mandatory presence of an additional district magistrate in the panel wasn’t adhered to, procedure for the lottery system was not followed, there was lack of transparency in the selection process and the selection of fair price shops in some wards were made beyond the prescribed limit.
“The cancellations were made in line with the high court order. The court said that the allotment procedure has to be in line with the government order and everyone (applicants) should be allowed to participate in a transparent manner,” Ministhy S, district magistrate,said.
The high court set aside the recommendations of the selection committee meeting held on January 2 and directed the district magistrate to convene a fresh meeting for the selection of fair price shop dealers by adopting a procedure mandated in the government order.
“An expeditious decision shall be taken for allotment of fair price shops as per the lottery system as provided in the government order (sic),” the court said in its final order.