New Delhi: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said the government will honour the decision of the Supreme Court on free distribution of foodgrains to the poor.
"This government will honour the decision of the Supreme Court. Members' suggestions will also be considered," he said responding to the issue raised by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj in the Lok Sabha.
Supreme Court today made it clear that it had ordered free distribution of foodgrains to the poor instead of allowing it to rot in godowns and it was not a suggestion as made out by Pawar. In the Lok Sabha, Pawar said he had heard about the observations made by the Supreme Court from the media and had made attempts to obtain a copy of the court order.
He said it would be "improper" on his part to make any comments without reading the official order of the Apex court as it could even amount to misleading the House.
Swaraj raised the issue hours after the Supreme Court took exception to Pawar's statement that its directive on free distribution of foodgrains to the poor instead of allowing them to rot in godowns was a suggestion which could not be implemented. "It was not a suggestion. It is there in our order. You tell the Minister," the court told the government counsel.
The Apex court had on August 12 asked the Centre to consider free distribution of foodgrains to the poor instead of allowing it to rot in Food Corporation of India godowns.
The court had passed the direction while dealing with a public interest litigation filed by civil rights group PUCL on rampant corruption in Public Distribution System (PDS) besides rotting of foodgrains in FCI godowns. PTI