The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice on an application challenging the Delhi Lieutenant Governor’s order staying the operation of the Delhi Government’s Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana filed in a plea seeking basic amenities for beggars and slum-dwellers across the capital.
Filed by a law student, the matter was listed before the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh. Senior Counsel Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi Government, alleged that the instant application has been filed to enlarge the scope of the writ petition filed by the petitioner. He raised objection on the admissibility of the application on the ground that petitions concerning similar issues are already pending before the Delhi High Court.
Supporting the contention made by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board in the previous hearing with regard to maintainability of the main petition, he reiterated that the Apex Court is seized of the issue with respect to shelters for the homeless and has constituted a Committee headed by retired Justice Kailash Gambhir to take stock of shelters for the homeless.
The Bench sought response from the Delhi Government and other authorities on the application, and slated the matter for November 12.
A PIL was filed by one Shrikant Prasad in May this year pointing out that homeless people, beggars and slum-dwellers found across Delhi are living in abysmal conditions, without any access to certain basic amenities including food and shelter. In addition, the plea pointed out that these people do not hold ration cards or labour cards to enable them to avail the benefits of various schemes launched by the Government from time to time. The Bench sought response from the Delhi Government, National Human Rights Commission, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, among others, on May 17, 2021.
In the instant application, it is averred that the Delhi Government, vide the ‘Delhi Ghar Ghar Ration’ scheme, was aiming to provide door-step delivery of ration to ration-card holders, in order to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is contended that the LG has rejected the file implementation of the Delhi Government’s ambitious ‘Doorstep Delivery of Ration’ scheme citing two reasons- the Centre is yet to approve the scheme, as also on account of an ongoing court case. In this regard, the application prays for quashing of the order passed by the LG, in as much as it stayed the operation of ‘Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana’. The application states that the Delhi Government has consistently provided ration to the ration card holders.
However, there are numerous people who are residing on footpaths and do not hold ration-cards, owing to which they are unable to get ration from the government. In this regard, the application seeks direction to concerned authorities to provide food, shelter, medical treatment to all affected destitute homeless people residing on footpaths, along with a direction for their rehabilitation. Furthermore, it also seeks direction to the Delhi Government to allow the e-district portal for filing application of ration card and to dispose of the same within a month.