New Delhi: No one in the country should die
of starvation and malnutrition and it is the responsibility of
the government to provide food to the poor, the Supreme Court
on Wednesday said and asked all states to specify how much additional
foodgrains under PDS are needed to meet the objective.
A bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma
also asked the Centre to take steps for the computerisation of
entire PDS (Public Distribution System) to stop pilferage and
"No one should die of starvation and malnutrition in poor
districts. We direct Chief Secretaries of all states to
indicate within two weeks how much additional foodgrains are
required," the bench said.
It made it clear that in case state governments fail to
respond within the time, then it would be deemed that no
additional foodgrains are required.
"There is a huge pilferage and corruption in PDS and it
could be reduced by computerisation," the bench said.
"This has to be done at a great speed. You have to
computerise the whole system in order to bring total
transparency," it further said.
The bench passed the order while dealing with a PIL filed
by Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) complaining about
large-scale corruption and irregularities in the PDS
The apex court had earlier said that all states should
emulate the PDS model adopted by Tamil Nadu which has been
supplying rice at Rs 1 per kg and subsidised fortified atta
and pulses to BPL families without much hassles and complaint
of pilferage and misappropriation.
It had directed the Centre to allocate additional five
million tonnes of foodgrains to the 150 poorest districts of
the country under the supervision of a committee appointed by