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Subsidised food to Bundelkhand poor: HC gives UP govt more time to comply

The Allahabad high court granted one more week to the UP chief secretary to comply with the court’s order dated February 19, 2018 by which it had directed UP government to find out means to provide ready to eat food items to poor people in Bundelkhand.

lucknow Updated: Mar 06, 2018 14:49 IST
Jitendra Sarin
Jitendra Sarin
Hindustan Times, Allahabad
Bundelkhand Uchcha Nyayalya Adhivakta Sangh,Bundelkhand,Allahabad high court

The Allahabad high court on Monday granted one more week to the UP chief secretary to comply with the court’s order dated February 19, 2018 by which it had directed the state government to find out means to provide ready to eat food items to poor people in Bundelkhand by opening outlets in every village wherein ready meal worth Re 1, Rs 2 or Rs 5 per people may be provided.

While fixing March 12 as the next date of hearing in the case, justice Sudhir Agarwal and justice Shashi Kant warned if the aforesaid order was not complied with, the court would draw contempt proceedings against the chief secretary.

The court was hearing a writ petition filed by Bundelkhand Uchcha Nyayalya Adhivakta Sangh, an NGO, which had highlighted the pitiable living condition of people in seven districts of Bundelkhand for various reasons including the subsequent state governments’ apathy over the last several decades.

The seven districts constituting Bundelkhand region in the state are Jhansi, Lalitpur, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Banda, Jalaun and Chitrakoot.

According to the petitioner, the said area is stony, lacks water and mostly depends on rain for drinking and irrigation purposes. Further, in the preceding five years there was continuous drought and it was declared as ‘drought affected area’, the petitioner said.

On Monday as per the previous direction of the court, chief secretary Rajive Kumar filed an affidavit.

However, the court after going through the affidavit expressed its dissatisfaction and observed, “We find that nothing has been said in respect of proposed scheme and affidavit is silent on this aspect. Therefore, it is evident that affidavit filed by the Chief Secretary is not in conformity with the directions given by this court which, prima facie, amounts to contempt of order dated February 19, 2018 passed by this court.”

However, on a request made on behalf of the state counsel, the court deferred the issue of contempt notice to the chief secretary and granted one week’s more time to him.

First Published: Mar 06, 2018 14:49 IST