Justice Rekha Palli of the Delhi High Court has sought the city government's stand on why a daily wage worker's application for a ration card has remained pending for eight years. The court issued a notice and granted time to the government counsel to get instructions.
The bench was hearing a petition by a worker seeking a ration card in a time-bound manner with names of all her family members filed through lawyers Jayshree Satpute and Tripti Poddar. The petitioner alleged that though she had applied for a ration card in 2013 and made repeated representations, no action was taken by authorities.
"Keeping in view the nature of relief sought in the present petition, Mr. (Gautam) Narayan (Delhi government counsel) is directed to obtain instructions as to why the petitioner's application has been pending for the last eight years," the court said
The petitioner explained that the right of her family to subsidised food grains was being denied because of the inaction and inefficiency of the authorities. This is in violation of the Right to Food, Right to Health and Right to Life guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution.
"The petitioner and her family continue to live in abject poverty, and are unable to provide food for their family, despite having applied for a ration card eight years prior," the petition stated.
The petitioner and her family reside in a slum in South Delhi. The ration card issued in her husband's name in 2005 was unilaterally cancelled by authorities in 2013. Though the petitioner received free rations distributed during the pandemic, she faced difficulties accessing it as her ration card application was pending.
The petitioner has also sought compensation of Rs 25,000 from the authorities for the delay. The matter has been posted for October 25.