EC moves SC against Kerala HC order on rice scheme

Last Updated: Monday, March 28, 2011 - 20:50

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Kerala High Court`s
decision setting aside its order which restrained the state
government from providing rice at Rs 2 per kg to all ration
card holders.

The High Court on March 21 had held as "wholly arbitrary"
the order of the Election Commission to stop the Kerala
government from extending the scheme of providing rice at Rs 2
per kg to both APL and BPL categories in the state.

A division bench of the High Court had said that the
Election Commission`s decision to defer the implementation of
the government scheme was "unconnected" with purposes sought
to be achieved by the Commission for securing a level-playing
field for all political parties.

The High Court had acted on a PIL filed by CPI legislator
Rajaji M Thomas challenging the EC order which prevented the
government from implementing the scheme.

The Election Commission has contended that extending the
benefit of the scheme was against the model code of conduct in
the state where Assembly Elections would be held on April 13.

It had contended that the scheme would influence the
voters for the polls.

Kerala government had submitted that it has already been
supplying rice at Rs 2 per kg to all BPL families.

However, the budget for 2011-12 had made this scheme
applicable to all households irrespective of the APL/BPL
division. But the government had put certain riders, which
included that ration card-holders whose monthly income was Rs
25,000 or above were not eligible for the scheme.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 28, 2011 - 20:50

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