HC tells Malegaon Collector to dispose of ration cards

The Bombay High Court has directed the collector and tehsildar of Malegaon district in Maharashtra to dispose of within six weeks ration card applications of people living below the poverty line.

Updated: Jul 20, 2012, 15:50 PM IST

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed the collector and tehsildar of Malegaon district in Maharashtra to dispose of within six weeks ration card applications of people living below the poverty line.

The PIL, filed by a group of persons living below the poverty line in the powerloom town of Malegaon, alleged their applications were pending since last four years or more though there is a statutory requirement to clear such cases within 45 days.

Counsel for petitioners, Firoz Ansari, pleaded that the tehsildar is the issuing authority but his office has outsourced the work to a private agency, Sethu Suvidha Centre, which is allegedly encouraging corrupt practices in the issue of ration cards.

He said the poor people living below poverty line in Malegaon are harassed and not issued the ration cards within the stipulated time. They are asked to pay bribes and women folk are exploited.

However, a government officer has filed an affidavit saying that not a single application was pending from April 2009 to December 2011.

He said between January and April this year, the food district officer at Malegaon had received 5,089 applications of which 3,525 had been disposed of. The rest will be cleared expeditiously as per law.

PTI