No one should die of starvation: SC

No one should die of starvation: SC 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 corruption.

"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 mechanism.

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 it.