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The Supreme Court disposed of the plea after directing the Centre to consider whether it is feasible for it to implement the Scheme at this stage or not and take appropriate decision in this regard
The Supreme Court today refused to pass orders on a plea seeking the adoption of the "One Nation One Ration" scheme amid the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Court asked the government to consider the feasibility of the scheme at this point.
The three-Judge Bench of Justices NV Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and BR Gavai refused to pass a y orders on the plea filed by Advocate Reepak Kansal after hearing it through video conferencing today.
The Court observed that merely because the petitioner is a lawyer, he cannot bring every issue to the Courts.
Court observed that it was a policy decision and left it open to the Centre to consider the feasibility of adopting the scheme prayed for by the petitioner. The Court said,
"...we direct the Union of India to consider whether it is feasible for it to implement the said Scheme at this stage or not and take appropriate decision in this regard keeping in view the present circumstances," thereby disposing of the plea.
The plea had called for the adoption of the "One Nation One Ration Card" scheme in light of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, the ensuing lockdown and the consequent exodus of migrant labourers and the poor, who are now are in different states or in temporary shelters.
The petitioner urged the Court to direct the government to ensure that the rights of migrant labourers to get their entitlement of subsidized food-grains and benefit schemes are protected even if they are stuck in a state other than their home state.
The plea made a case for the immediate implementation of the "One Nation One Ration Card" scheme that was to be launched by the Prime Minister in June 2020. It stated,
"Due to lack of scheme of One Nation One Rashan Card and another policy/circular/notification by Central Government to protect the rights of laborers/employees/small businessman/daily wagers/tourists etc, in regard to protect the lives and health of above-said section. The said section of the society has not been getting benefits of schemes of Central Government and State Governments including subsidized food grains, shelter and medical facilities (Except Corona Treatment)."
In this regard, the petitioner had argued that the rights of such migrant labourers and the poor should be protected under Article 21 of the Constitution.