SC asks Centre to consider ‘one nation, one ration card’ during lockdown
The central government scheme is scheduled to be launched in June this year.Updated: Apr 28, 2020 16:34 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the central government to examine the feasibility of implementing the ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme during the Covid-19 lockdown so as to alleviate the hardships faced by migrant labourers who have been stranded in other states due to the lockdown.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice NV Ramana, passed the order on a plea by one Reepak Kansal, who had highlighted the plight of migrant labourers because they did not have local identity proof.
“…we direct the Union of India to consider whether it is feasible for it to implement the said scheme at this stage or not and take an appropriate decision in this regard keeping in view the present circumstances,” the court said disposing of the plea.
The ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme formulated by the central government is proposed to kick in from June 2020.
The petitioner pointed out that many migrant workers who left their home state to work in other cities have been confined to their rented accommodation and are unable to return to their home states due to the lockdown.
They have run out of food and with no local identity proof like ration card or voter card to avail government benefits like subsidised food grains, they are facing hunger.
“States and Union Territories have been giving preferences to its respective citizens and voters and denying benefits of subsidised grains, shelter, medical facilities to said migrants laborers/ employees of other states due to absence of local identity proof i.e. ration card/residential proof/ voter card,” the petitioner claimed.
The petitioner, therefore, prayed that the ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme which is proposed to come into effect from June 2020 should be implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic so that migrant labourers are not denied subsidised food grains and other government benefits.
“Indian Government as well as State Governments have to adopt the scheme of ‘One Nation One Umbrella’ without any discrimination and to save human lives”, the plea said.