HC asks Govt to take steps to bring down onion prices

Delhi High Court asked the Centre and Delhi government to take steps to ensure that prices of kitchen staple are brought down.

Last Updated: Aug 29, 2013, 14:54 PM IST

New Delhi: With onion prices soaring, the Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Centre and Delhi government to take steps to ensure that prices of kitchen staple are brought down so that common people do not suffer.

The high court hearing a PIL filed by a social worker, Poonam Jain, alleging inaction of the governments in controlling the onion price, said, "...Steps to be taken by the Delhi government and Centre to ensure that the onion price issue will be addressed so that common people should not suffer."

A bench of acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru passed the order and disposed of the plea after Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Rajeeve Mehra, appearing for the Centre, assured the court that major steps have been taken to control the prices.

Placing before the bench a status report filed by the Department of Consumer Affairs of Agriculture Ministry, the senior law officer said the onion price situation depends on its production and arrival and domestic onion prices tend to peak during September to November and fall during January- March every year.

"Generally onion storage gets depleted by August- September," the lawyer said.

He further submitted that the central government has sent a request to Maharashtra, which is the highest onion production state, for steady supply of the commodity to Delhi.

The bench recorded the senior counsel's arguments in its order and said, "ASG assures that the Centre will aggressively persuade Maharashtra for sufficient supply of onions to Delhi so that the issue can be addressed."

Arguing for Delhi government, standing counsel Zubeda Begum told the bench that the onion price was more than Rs 60 for few days but now it has come down to Rs 45 in Mother Dairy outlets.

Petitioner Poonam Jain's counsel had submitted that common people are suffering due to governments' failure to curb the hoarding in the city as well as in Maharashtra causing scarce supply of the onions.

The plea had sought to direct respondents to take special measures to supply the onions in the market in sufficient quantity and the provision of Essential Commodities Act to be invoked to control the rising price of onion.