Delhi HC dismisses PIL on food security ordinance
The bill to enact the food security law was introduced in Parliament in the first week of May but it was not pushed.
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a PIL seeking the quashing of the National Food Security Ordinance on the grounds that it was the UPA government`s politically-inspired pre-election propaganda camouflaged as a scheme to feed the poor.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice BD Ahmad and Justice Vibhu Bakhru dismissed the plea and said: "We refrain from entertaining the petition."
"There is no material to test that the centre brought the ordinance under special circumstances or ordinary circumstances," the bench said.
The petitioner had earlier approached Supreme Court, which had asked him to file the plea in high court.
Petitioner ML Sharma, an advocate, moved the high court describing the government`s move as "malafide" as the ordinance would be misused by the ruling party for its pre-election propaganda and political considerations.
Describing the promulgation of the ordinance as "unconstitutional", the PIL said: "Can a bill that had been introduced in parliament but not even debated for the fear of its being defeated on the floor of Parliament be made into law by taking the ordinance route."
President Pranab Mukherjee on July 05 signed the ordinance on food security to give two-thirds of the nation`s population the right to get five kg of food grains every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.
"There were no emergency circumstances to issue the impugned ordinance. Hence, it does not comply with the terms of Article 123. Therefore, the impugned notification is unconstitutional and is liable to be declared unconstitutional and void," PIL said.
The bill to enact the food security law was introduced in Parliament in the first week of May but it was not pushed as the government did not expect it to be passed, the petition contended.