The court directive followed a PIL on Ration Card holders of Wangkhei Assembly Constituency who could not get entitled NFSA rice for 5 months from April 2021 to August 2021 owing to a legal tussle between the old and new Fair Price Shop Dealers.
The High Court of Manipur on Thursday directed the State authorities to make suitable alternative arrangements in the event the Fair Price Shop Dealers are not in a position to give effect to the welfare schemes by supplying food grains to the intended beneficiaries.
Hearing petition filed in public interest by one Ramananda Wangkheirakpam, a division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice Lanusungkum Jamir said the grievance in this petition is that supply of food grains under the public distribution system has been stalled owing to the disputes amongst the Fair Price Shop Dealers.
“In such an event, it is for the Stale authorities to make alternative arrangements so that supply of food grains to the needy under welfare schemes is not adversely affected. After all, the appointment of Fair Price Shop Dealers is to attain that objective and not just for their personal benefit,” it observed.
The bench posted the matter on September 17 after Additional Advocate General Momota Devi who took notice for the respondents sought time to get instructions and file a reply.
The PIL was filed after the Ration Card holders of Wangkhei Assembly Constituency could not get their entitled NFSA rice for 5 months starting from April 2021 to August 2021.
It may be noted a legal tussle is pending before the High Court between the old and newly appointed Fair Price shop Dealers. The Petitioner has expressed apprehension that the bonafide ration card holders of Wangkhei AC would be denied their entitlement for a long time without provision for payment of food security allowance. The Petitioner has submitted representation dated July 21, 2021 addressed to the state authority for disbursement of rice to the ration card holders in order to mitigate the hardship induced by the Covid 19 pandemic.