Aadhar Card mandatory for getting subsidised Food Grain through Public Distribution System: Centre to High Court

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Aadhar Card, Source: Aadhar Card Kendra

New Delhi, April 25, 2017: The Central government on Monday told the Delhi High Court that the Aadhaar card was made mandatory for getting subsidised food grain through the Public Distribution System as this was not reaching the poor.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra was further informed by the government that around 2.33 crore ration cards, used to get the benefits under the PDS scheme, turned out to be fake.

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PDS is mostly misused in the country so Aadhar card was mad mandatory, said the government.

The government’s response came on a public interest litigation filed by NGO Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan which sought quashing of the Centre’s February 8 notification that made it mandatory for beneficiaries to possess Aadhaar cards for purchasing subsidised food grain under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

The notification is applicable in all states and Union Territories, except Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.

The plea said due to the notification’s implementation, people are being deprived of their rightful entitlement under the NFSA and it violates the Constitution’s Articles 14 and 21.

Buyers of ration under the NFSA, who do not possess the Aadhaar cards, or are not yet enrolled for it but are desirous of availing subsidies under the NFSA, are required to file applications for Aadhaar enrolment by June 30.

The plea said in October 2015, a Supreme Court interim order had allowed for voluntary use of Aadhaar and ruled that no citizen can be denied a service or subsidy for its want as it sought directions to enforce what it said was the fundamental right to food to Delhi residents, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups dependent on subsidised food grain distributed by the Delhi government through the Public Distribution System. (IANS)

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