Scrapping 3 Crore Ration Cards For Not Linking Aadhaar “Too Serious”: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court today termed the cancellation of around three crore ration cards by the Centre due to non-linking with the Aadhaar card as too serious and sought response from the Central government and all states on the issue. In India, the Aadhaar Card is the most relevant document used as proof of identification. We hear this word now and then in our daily lives, where it is often needed to complete such important tasks.
A bench of Chief Justice addressing it as “too serious a matter”
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said this matter should not be treated as adversarial as it is “too serious a matter”.
The PIL was filed by Devi, whose 11-year-old daughter Santoshi died of starvation on September 28, 2018, in the Simdega district of Jharkhand. Gudiya Devi, Santoshi’s niece, is a co-petitioner in the case. Santoshi, who came from a poor Dalit background, died because the local authorities had cancelled her family’s ration card because they had failed to associate it with Aadhaar, according to the petition.
The Centre had earlier said that reports suggest that the deaths were not due to starvation.No one was denied food because of lack of valid Aadhaar card, it had said.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who represents petitioner Koili Devi, stated at the outset that the petition deals with the larger problem.Mr Gonsalves persisted with his arguments that it is an important issue as the Centre has cancelled around three crore ration cards.
“We are asking you (Centre) to respond because of the Aadhaar issue. This is not adversarial litigation. We will hear it finally. Issue notice returnable in four weeks,” the bench said.
On December 9, 2019, the Supreme Court issued a request for responses from all states in response to allegations of hunger deaths among people who were denied ration supplies due to a lack of valid Aadhaar cards.
The bench said it will hear the matter on some other day as it is persuaded by Gonsalves that the Central government has cancelled the ration cards.
Why is the ration card aadhaar link important?
There is a major reason why the Government of India has taken this initiative to do a ration card aadhaar link. The government would be able to prevent citizens from receiving multiple ration cards by linking their Aadhaar cards to their ration cards. Furthermore, the government will be able to prohibit people who are not eligible for a ration card because their income exceeds the ration limits from receiving one. By doing so, the government aims to ensure that only eligible citizens obtain subsidised fuel or food grains and that they are not denied the gain. The second and most critical explanation is that, in addition to other important documents such as a passport or a PAN card, the ration card serves as proof of identification and address. Duplicate ration cards are no longer accepted.