Supreme Court seeks Centre’s response in a petition alleging cancellation of three crore ration cards

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court sought the Central Government’s response in a plea alleging cancellation of three crore ration cards due to non-linking with Aadhar cards by the Union Government.

Senior Counsel Colin Gonsalves informed the Court that notice had not been issued in the petition. Only an incidental order was made further, stating that the principal issue was the cancellation of three crore ration cards.

He further contended that it was a big issue as the Centre did not issue a notice to beneficiaries before cancelling the ration cards.

The Court stated that they see the seriousness of the problem but the better option would be to approach the jurisdictional High Courts, and approaching them was not the appropriate remedy.

However, Mr Gonsalves replied that cancellation was made at the central level, but the Bench stated that there is nothing in the law that suggests that High Courts cannot set aside Aadhar cards’ cancellation.

Mr Gonsalves stated that the cards are not found to be cancelled, it’s either that tribals don’t have Aadhaar Cards or the identification does not work in rural and tribal areas. Due to the reliance on Aadhar cards, three crore ration cards are gone. 

He further stated that starvation deaths are taking place and told the court that he could show UOI’s declaration regarding the issue.

On the other hand, ASG Aman Lekhi argued that High Courts should deal with the issue, and the petitioners can also use the mechanism under the National Food Security Act.

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The Bench stated that they would consider the case at hand and have put it for final hearing. The Bench clarified that they asked the Centre to file a response due to the Aadhar card issue.

Lastly, the Bench remarked that the matter was too serious.

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