A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking direction to Centre (Department of Food & Public Distribution) to direct all State Government and UTs under Section 38 of National Food Security Act to provide food grains free of cost to poor persons with disabilities as was done for migrant labourers and others during the present pandemic.
The plea also seeks direction to give free ration to all persons with disabilities without ration cards on the basis of their disability certificates and/or UDID under Pradhan Mantri Garib Anna Kalyan Yojana.
The petitioner National Federation of the Blind through Advocate Santosh Kumar Rungta and Advocate Pratiti Rungta through the petition seeking issuance of direction for the purpose of implementation of the food security scheme guaranteed under Sub Section 1 of Section 10 of the National Food Security Act 2013 and also to ensure that at least 5 per cent beneficiaries of food security scheme under the Act are from categories of persons with disabilities as defined in The Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act 2016 (in short RPD Act 2016) in terms of section 37(b) of RPD Act 2016.
The plea stated that as the persons with disabilities belong to the most marginalized group in the society with very little opportunities for earning livelihood and therefore their exclusion from the category of eligible persons under Antyodaya Anna Yojana and priority household for the purpose of implementation of the Food security scheme guaranteed under National Food Security Act 2013 is against the spirit and object of National Food security Act, 2013.
It also added that the provisions of section 40 of the Persons With Disabilities Act 1995 mandating three per cent reservation in all poverty alleviation programmes including National Food Security scheme as well as section 37(b) of Right of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 which mandates 5 per cent reservation for persons with disabilities in all poverty alleviation programmes.
The petition to be heard tomorrow by Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.
( With inputs from ANI )