WELFARE STATE’S DUTY TO FEED THE HUNGRY, SC TO MODI GOVT.
17 November 2021
The supreme court on Tuesday told the central government that it is the duty of every ‘welfare state’ to provide food for those affected and dying of hunger. The statement comes after the centre filed a response petition to demand community kitchens in the wake of the pandemic, saying it was ‘under process’ by taking opinions and concerns from states and union territories. The supreme court frowned upon this saying it was necessary to feed the people who were affected by the pandemic.
Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said, “We are concerned about hunger and people. See, if you want to take care of hunger, no Constitution or law will say ‘no’ to it. This is the first principle. Every welfare state’s first responsibility is to provide food to people dying of hunger,” while speaking to attorney-general K.K. Venugopal during the hearing of a PIL which was filed in 2019, seeking community kitchens. “We can’t leave the people in the lurch and say everything is fine. We are not happy with the affidavit filed by the under-secretary of the Government of India,” he added. He asserted that it should be the last time the court would warn the petition should be filed by a senior official of the rank of secretary.
The court ordered the centre to call a meeting of all states and UTs to decide on something within three weeks. Social activist Arun Dhawan and two others had filed the petition seeking community kitchens across the country for those who did not have access to the public distribution systems.
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