The court also asked the government to extend the one-time financial assistance of Rs 1,500 to all white ration card holders.

Telangana High
news Court Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 09:06

The Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed the government to supply 12 kg of rice to stranded migrant workers and tribals without insisting on biometrics and identity particulars during the lockdown. The court also asked the government to extend the one-time financial assistance of Rs 1,500 in accordance with G.O 45, to all white ration card holders irrespective of whether they had drawn rice in the last three months or not. The court made these observations while hearing two separate Public Interest Litigations (PILs).

A Hyderabad resident identified as Srujana Amaganti filed a PIL claiming that the government refuses to give financial aid of Rs 1500 to the migrant workers, if they did not draw rice for the last three successive months. The division bench of Justice MS  Ramchander Rao and Justice K Lakshman, who were hearing the PIL, said that the government cannot stop the payment for such reasons. 

“This amount is pittance but helps them to get on with life during lockdown. Once the government avers, it is obligated to pay the beneficiaries. The government should not deprive a person to get welfare scheme benefits, without following the principles of natural justice,” the court said, according to Deccan Chronicle.

Hearing another PIL filed by a city-based activist, SQ Masood, who claimed that the government had cancelled around 8 lakh white ration cards, the court as quoted by The Times of India said, “How can you (government) cancel the ration cards without notifying the people? Do not insist on biometrics and identity during this lockdown. You have to supply rice to every stranded migrant."

Responding to the allegations, Advocate General (AG) BS Prasad told the court that the state government is helping the poor without insisting on ration cards. The AG also denied cancellation of ration cards, but sought time to find out the status of cancelled cards.

The court directed the state government to exempt the beneficiaries from the biometric system and provide rice and other essentials to the migrants, tribals and non-ration card holders during the lockdown, Deccan Chronicle reporte

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