The Supreme Court today sought response of the Centre and eight drought-hit states on a plea seeking direction to make available free food-grains guaranteed under National Food Security Act to all affected.
A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and S A Bobde issued notice to Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Odisha and Jharkhand governments.
The court passed the order on a plea which sought adequate and timely compensation for crop loss and input subsidy for the next crop to the farmers affected by drought and subsidised cattle fodder for animals.
The court was hearing the PIL filed by Swaraj Abhiyan, a political movement started by former AAP leader Yogender Yadav, alleging that the Centre and states “have been highly negligent in performing their obligations, causing enormous damage to the lives of the people due to their inaction, which is in contravention of the rights guaranteed under Articles 21 and 14 of the Constitution of India”.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Swaraj Abhiyan, said National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 places obligation on the state to provide 5 kg of food grains to each person in the family per month.
“Unfortunately, most states have not yet implemented this. Except Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, the states have stuck to the previous Public Distribution System schemes that fall short of the NFSA obligations.
“Research shows that the APL/BPL distinction used by most of the states is useless and that the implementation of NFSA has had positive outcomes for these two states,” he said.
( Source – PTI )