The Delhi High Court has sought the city government's stand on why an application for issuance of a ration card by a daily wage worker has remained pending for eight years.
Justice Rekha Palli issued notice on the petition by the worker seeking a ration card in a time-bound manner, with names of all her family members, and granted time to the Delhi government counsel to get instructions.
The petitioner alleged that in spite of applying for a ration card in September 2013 and making repeated representations, no action has been taken by the authorities.
"Keeping in view the nature of relief sought in the present petition, Mr. (Gautam) Narayan (Delhi government counsel) is directed to obtain instructions as to why the petitioner's application has been pending for the last eight years," the court said in its order dated October 6.
In the petition filed through lawyers Jayshree Satpute and Tripti Poddar, the petitioner said that she and her family are being denied their right to subsidised food grains owing to inactions and inefficiencies of the authorities, in violation of the Right to Food, Right to Health and Right to Life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The court was informed that the petitioner and her family resides in a slum cluster in South Delhi and the ration card issued in her husband's name in 2005 was unilaterally cancelled by the authorities in 2013.
"The petitioner and her family continue to live in abject poverty, and are unable to provide food for their family, despite having applied for a ration card eight years prior," the petitioner stated.
It further informed that although the petitioner collected the free ration being distributed by the authorities during the pandemic, she "faced difficulties in accessing it on grounds" on account of the pendency of her ration card application.
In the petition, the petitioner has also sought compensation of Rs 25,000 from the authorities.
The matter would be heard next on October 25.