HC notice to Guj govt on Modi`s brother petition

The petitioner challenged provision of criminal action against the Fair Price shop-owners and seizig of their movable property.

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the state government, while hearing a petition filed by the Gujarat Fair Price Shops License Holder Association (GFPSLHA) against a circular by the food and civil supplies department.

GFPSLHA chairman Prahlad Modi, elder brother of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, has filed a petition seeking cancellation of a circular issued by the Food and Civil Supplies department, directing Fair Price shop-owners of the city to identify bogus ration card holders and report them to the authorities.

The petitioner has further challenged provision of criminal action against the Fair Price shop-owners, and seizure of their movable and immovable property, if they fail to report about bogus ration cards to the authorities.

Justice Abhilasha Kumari, hearing the case, issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies Secretary, Food Controller and Ahmedabad Collector, and directed them to file reply by September 5.

The petitioner has contended that the circular on July 25, was issued under `camouflage` to bring within public opinion that government was alert and taking action with regard to bogus ration cards.

It also alleged that the government wanted to shift responsibility on the Fair Price shop owners, who have no role to play in the issuance of ration cards.

Advocate R K Mishra, appearing for the Association, contended that the entire process of issuing ration cards after physical verification of the identity and address of the applicant was within the purview of the government.


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