Delhi Govt pulled by CIC for `insensitive` ration-card policy

Pulling up the Delhi Govt for not issuing ration cards to slum dwellers who missed the last date for applying for a new one, the CIC has asked it to look into this policy and take corrective action.

New Delhi: Pulling up the Delhi Government
for not issuing ration cards to slum dwellers who missed the
last date for applying for a new one, the Central Information
Commission has asked it to look into this policy and take
corrective action.

The case relates to a slum dweller Bhoj Bahadur who had
an old ration card issued in 1999. Exercising his Right to
Information, Bahadur asked the government why a fresh card was
not issued to him.

During the hearing, the Food and Supplies Department of
Delhi Government said that new cards are issued only to those
who have got their earlier cards renewed in 2002, or had been
issued one subsequently.

It also said fresh ration cards are issued to homeless
people but the policy makes people, like this appellant who is
stating in jhuggis, ineligible to get a ration card.

"This is appearing to be a very harsh condition since it
means that people who had ration cards issued before 2002 and
missed getting it renewed in 2002 have become ineligible for
new ration cards", Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi
said.

He accepted that the Commission`s hands were tied to do
anything in this matter and asked the Secretary of the
department to look at this policy and take corrective action
if it is thought appropriate.

"The Commission thinks that this is an unreasonable and
insensitive policy. It is unimaginable that the right to get
food grains at a reasonable rate to the poor is denied merely
because they did not keep track of government policies and
requirements," he said.

PTI

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