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Verification of ration card holders is duty of Delhi govt: FPS licensees to HC

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New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) Fair price shop (FPS) licensees told the Delhi High Court Wednesday that they should not be tasked with verifying the addresses of ration card holders as it is the duty of AAP government officials. Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued notice to the Delhi government and asked it to indicate on affidavit who was responsible for carrying out the survey and verification according to the National Food Security Act and in how much time. The court also asked the government to examine if it was possible to remunerate the FPS licensees for the onerous task of survey and verification of ration card holders. It, however, asked the FPS licensees to continue with the verification work to the best of their abilities and listed the matter for further hearing on October 1. The court was hearing a plea by the Delhi Sarkari Ration Dealers Sangh (DSRDS) which has sought quashing of two notifications of 2009 and 2018 which state that FPS licensees have to carry out the survey and verification of ration cards. The organisation, representing FPS licensees, has said in its petition that ration cards issued after enacting of the Food Security Act have been linked with Aadhaar and they have also been verified food inspectors as well as officials of other Delhi government departments. It has claimed that officials of other departments who assisted in the verification work were paid Rs 30 per application form, but FPS licensees have been directed to carry out the task without any remuneration. DSRDS in its plea has said the 2009 notification was never implemented and by the notification of 2018, the government was seeking to revive the earlier directive to FPS licensees. The petition, filed through advocate Visheshwar Shrivastav, has said that majority of FPS licensees are women, senior citizens and physically challenged persons who shall find it difficult to carry out the survey and verification exercise. It has also contended that none of the provisions of the Delhi Special Articles (Regulation of Distribution) Order, Public Distribution System (control) order and the Food Security Act cast any obligation on FPS licensees to carry out door-to-door survey and verification of ration card holders in their notified area. PTI HMP SKV SA

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