The Delhi High Court Tuesday expressed hope that the Delhi government would expeditiously finalise its policy for providing ration to poor people, especially destitute women and disabled children, "so that they do not starve for want of food" during the pandemic.
Justice Rekha Palli observation came after the Delhi government, represented by standing counsel Santosh K Tripathi, said its policy to provide ration and food to the poor was underway and would be finalised soon.
The submission by the Delhi government came after the court asked "what do you want them (poor people) to do? Beg for food?"
Tripathi told the court that soon over 240 centres would be opened across the national capital to provide rations to the poor, during the pandemic, without asking for any identification.
"It is hoped that the respondent (Delhi government) will take expeditious steps to finalise the policy, so that people like the petitioners here, including helpless women and disabled children, do not starve for want of food," the court said and listed the matter for hearing in July.
The court was hearing a plea moved on behalf of seven families who lost earning members to COVID-19 or lost jobs due to the pandemic and had no other source of livelihood and were seeking ration facilities without any insistence on ration cards.
The court issued notice to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the Delhi government and sought their stand on the plea, filed through advocate Abhishek Anand, which has also sought monetary relief for the petitioners and others like them to that they can purchase LPG cylinders to cook food or to provide them with LPG cylinders during the lockdown period.
The petition also seeks directions that landowners should not forcefully charge rent during the prevailing pandemic or in the alternative the Delhi government should provide them financial assistance to pay the rent.