Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to set up a committee to find out ways and means for safety and security of foodgrains.
No foodgrains, purchased by the government, should be kept in an open space, the Lucknow Bench of the Court said in its order.
The order was passed by the vacation Bench, comprising Justice Devi Prasad Singh and Justice Satish Chandra, on a PIL filed by a local lawyer praying for protection of foodgrains.
Admitting the petition, the Bench directed the state government to constitute a committee to find out ways and means for safety and security of foodgrains.
It directed the committee to prepare a plan for the sale and purchase which should be done keeping in view the storage capacity.
The Bench said if warehouses were not in adequate number then new ones should be constructed or taken on rent.
It directed the committee to finalise its report within a month.
Thereafter, the government should issue an order or a circular in two months to regulate the sale and purchase, the Bench said.
The court directed that no foodgrains should be kept in an open space.
These should be stored on a higher platform to avoid waterlogging and should be covered with appropriate canopy or shed immediately, it said.
The Bench said the loss of public property or damage
caused to foodgrains was an offence under the Indian Penal Code.
It said the Economic Offence Wing has ample powers to take action against concerned authorities in this regard.
It directed the Additional Director or the Director of EOW to maintain district-wise survillance regarding the damage caused to foodgrains because of rain or other reasons.
The Bench directed EOW and the vigilance department to send status report after every two months to the court.
The Bench said in case negligence of the Food Corporation of India was detected, action may be taken against its officials.
It directed disciplinary action should be taken against officials in charge of storage, safety and security of the foodgrains in case of any damage.
The loss caused be recovered from salaries of concerned officials, the Bench said.
It gave respondents six weeks` time to file replies and two weeks for rejoinder thereafter and listed the case for hearing after two months.