Two days ago, the State Government’s legal panel informed the bench consisting of Justice AA Sayyed that it was willing to adhere to the Central Government’s ruling while at the same time, they were concerned about the suspicion that this could encourage black marketing and hoarding of essential grain and ration for profit. Additionally, the State Government’s lawyers mentioned that verification will be conducted to make sure that those eligible to receive the benefits are actually unable to get food or grain.
Councils of the Maharashtra Government have mentioned to the Bombay High Court that it has set up 4,000 distribution centers across the state to provide free food and ration to those with no means, including up to 7 lakh migrant workers and daily wage-earners. This came after the High Court was hearing a petition that demanded a stay on two resolutions passed by the State Government on March 29 and 30 respectively. As per these resolutions, migrant workers and daily wage earners had to pay Rs 2 and Rs 5 for grains and other rations. The petition challenged this saying that it’s against the Central Government’s proposal to provide free food and ration to workers and migrants. The Bombay High Court heard all the submissions and has asked the state and district legal services authority to cross-check the state government’s claims and provide a detailed report on the same. Further, the court directed Maharashtra’s Food and Civil Supplies Department to file an affidavit showing the number of people who have benefited from this plan while also providing precise data on the number of food grains distributed. The court will hear the matter further on April 15