Calcutta High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts


Calcutta High Court: The single bench of Krishna Rao, J., dismissed the writ petition appeal and held that there is no illegality in the WB Duare Ration Scheme, 2021, under which the state government provides delivery and supply of food grains at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries through Public Distribution System.

The present writ petition application was filed for declaring the notification dated 13-09-2021 which amended Clause 18 of the WB Public Distribution System (Maintenance and Control) Order, 2013(WBPDS Control Order) and the WB Duare Ration Scheme, 2021 dated 16-11-2021 as ultra vires to Essential Commodities Act, 1955(ECA), National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), Central Control Order, 2015 and also Article 14, 19(I) (g), 21 and 254 of the Constitution of India.

The issue to be decided on

Is there a bar on the State Government to provide an additional benefit for delivery of food grains at the door steps under the Statutory Scheme contained in the NFSA, the rules framed, and the orders issued by the Central Government under the ECA?

Analysis and Decision

The Court stated that Section 24(2)(b) of the NFSA obligates the State Governments to ensure actual delivery of supply of food grains to the entitled persons at the prices specified in Schedule-I and Section 32 of the NFSA, enabling the Central Government or the State Governments, inter alia, to formulate other food-based welfare schemes. Further, the Court stated that Clause 35 of the WBPDS Control Order allows the State Government to amend or introduce fresh provisions that are not inconsistent with the Act.

On a conjoint reading of the above provisions, the Court opined that actual delivery of ration at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries is covered within the scope of authority and responsibility vested by the State Government. Therefore, the Court held that the decision of the State Government to deliver foodgrains at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries cannot be said to violate any provision of the NFSA and the Rules framed, or order issued under the ECA.

Hence, the Court found no illegality in the amendment of Clause 18 of the WBPDS Control Order dated 13-09-2021 and the WB Duare Ration Scheme, 2021 dated 16-11-2021.

[Sk. Manowar Ali v. State of W.B., 2022 SCC OnLine Cal 1679, decided on 16-06-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Saktinath Mukherjee, Sr. Adv, Debabrata Saha Roy, Pingal Bhattacharya, and Neil Basu, Advocates, for the Petitioners;

S.N. Mookherjee, Ld. A.G., Anirban Ray, Ld. G.P., Sirsanya Bandopadhyay, Sanjay Basu, Arka Kumar Nag, Piyush Agarwal, and Utsha Dasgupta, Advocates ,for the State

Ajay Chaubey, Sunil Gupta, and A. Jaiswal, Advocates, for the Union of India.

Patna High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The Bench of Madhuresh Prasad, J. dismissed a civil writ petition, challenging cancellation of a lady’s appointment as Angan Bari Sevika, holding that the petition was devoid of merits.

The instant petition was filed praying for quashing the order issued by the District Programme Officer (DPO) whereby and whereunder petitioner’s selection as Angan Bari Sevika had been cancelled. The Court, at the very outset, noted that the petition had been filed without challenging the DPO’s order.

Contention of the respondent-State, as well as the private respondent, was that the Aam Sabha, wherein the petitioner was selected, was conducted in absence of the Child Development Project Officer. Further, the number of beneficiaries in the service area was not ascertained prior to petitioner’ selection.

Learned counsel for the petitioner, Mr. Sanjay Kumar, submitted that the population of Scheduled Caste for the Center in question was 300, the population of Extremely Backward Class was 150, the population of Backward Class was 250 and population of General Class was 400. Petitioner, being a member of the General Class, was of the predominant class in the area and, therefore, her selection was rightly done by the Aam Sabha. Further, the determination as to the number of beneficiaries was not relevant in terms of the Circular dated 25-09-2001 issued by the Social Welfare Department, Government of Bihar.

The Court noted that the concerned Circular clearly contemplated that selection for Angan Bari Sevika must be done from the predominant class based on the population of beneficiaries. In view of such situation, selection of a candidate on the basis of predominance of caste or class without ascertaining the number of beneficiaries, i.e., actual population below poverty line within the various castes/class, could not be sustained and would defeat the very purpose of social welfare sought to be achieved by the Integrated Child Development Scheme through establishment of Angan Bari Centre. Thus, it was held that the selection of petitioner had rightly been cancelled.[Nirmala Kumari v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 566, Order dated 22-04-2019]