Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has refused to grant stay to the ongoing verification of ration cards in the state, as prayed by a petitioner, but posted the hearing on the ration card issue to next Tuesday.
While refusing to grant stay to the ongoing card verification drive, a division bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B N Mohapatra yesterday issued notices to the state government on the ration card issue and fixed next Tuesday for the hearing of the case.
The PIL by senior lawyer Madhusudan Panda, filed along with miscellaneous petition, called for halt in verification drive and argued that the drive is contrary to the Supreme Court order passed on August 31 last which had asked for a fresh door-to-door survey to issue ration cards across the country.
Instead of conducting the fresh survey to ascertain the BPL and APL families, the state government is conducting verification of ration cards which were issued more than 15 years ago, the petition said claiming that no ration card was issued in the state during that period.
The petitioner also stated that contrary to the claims made by the union government about surplus food stock in the country, PDS allotments to several states, including Orissa had not been revised for past 15 years as no fresh ration card was issued during this period.
The state recently issued an advertisement asking ration card holders to surrender their cards at distribution centers for verification.
"The government`s claim that the recent notification was in accordance with the guidelines of Planning Commission framed after the apex court order is also not true," the petitioner claimed.