HC raps Maharashtra government for not taking action on bogus ration cards
MDT/PTI 28 November 2012

The Court had asked the state government to give a district-wise break up of fake ration cards and inform what action it proposed to take against errant officials

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra government to submit an action taken report against the officers responsible for issuing bogus ration cards on 11th December failing which Secretary of Food and Civil Supply should remain present on that day, reports PTI.
As the Government sought time to provide the required information, Justices AM Khanvilkar and Mridula Bhatkar pulled up the State authorities, saying sufficient time had been given to them.
"Are you going to wait till District Collectors file their responses?," they asked.
Taking a serious view of existence of bogus ration cards in Maharashtra, the HC had on last hearing asked the Government to proceed against officers responsible for the illegal practice failing which it threatened to order a top officer to take action in a time-bound manner.
The Court had asked the Government to give a district-wise break up of fake ration cards and inform what action it proposed to take against errant officials.
As the Government failed to provide such information today, the Judges were angry and asked the State to file a report on next date of hearing (11th December).
The HC was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Jayprakash Unecha alleging that hundreds of bogus ration cards were in existence in Pune and other parts of the State.
Earlier, the State had disclosed that there were altogether 11 lakh bogus ration cards in circulation. Reacting to this, the Judges noted that the magnitude of the fraud was quite enormous.
Hearing another PIL, the HC had earlier told the Chief Secretary to file an affidavit giving details about mechanism it would adopt to prevent issue of bogus cards.
The second PIL, filed by LB Shaikh, an associate of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, had alleged that the bogus ration card racket was to the tune of Rs25,000 crore.
The petitioner had pointed out that one of the methods used in this corrupt practice, is to continue the ration card of a person even after his death and purchase commodities in his name at cheaper rates from the public distribution system (PDS) and sell them at a premium in the open market.
"As the (Food and Civil Supply) department has no machinery to check the accuracy of information given by the applicant about his income, only evidence of residence is verified and thereafter the ration card is issued," a Government affidavit had contended.
Because of the procedure, it is difficult to fix responsibility on the staff for ineligible ration cards detected during drives. Despite this, instructions have been issued to District Collectors and the Controller of Rationing in Mumbai and Thane to take action against the staff for issuing bogus ration cards, it said.
The Government would ensure that penal action is taken by respective authorities in Mumbai and Thane against staff responsible for issuing ration cards to ineligible people, the affidavit contended.
Vaibhav Dhoka
1 decade ago
The card system in India is a source of corrupt practice kept alive by government agencies may be Ration card/Adhar card or any other card.The recent control on number of LPG cylinders has brought out large number of bogus or dual registration.Immediately LPG dealers asked for increase in commission which they use to get manifold in selling cylinders in BLACK.This you can label RATION CARD SCAM.There are no dearth of scams in India.
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