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Fair price shop can't be alloted to BPL card holder: HC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A fair price shop cannot be alloted to a BPL card holder, the Delhi High Court has held while ordering a departmental inquiry against government officials who granted both the benefits to one person.

Justice Manmohan passed the order after rejecting the Delhi government's contention that holding a BPL card is not a disqualification for grant of a fair price shop (FPS) under the public distribution system (PDS).

The court directed Chief Secretary of Delhi government to appoint a senior officer to conduct the inquiry and said if the concerned officials of the Department of Food and Supplies are found negligent or remiss in their duty, the same should reflect in their service record.

"This court does not agree with the stand of respondents that holding a BPL card is not a disqualification for grant of a fair price shop licence, as the essential condition for allotment of PDS outlet is that an entity or individual has to be financially sound- which a BPL card holder cannot be.

"This court is amazed at the ease with which respondent 4 (shop owner) has obtained on one day a BPL card and after a few days has declared himself to be financially sound even without surrendering the BPL card.

"Consequently, this court directs the Chief Secretary of Government of NCT of Delhi to appoint a relatively senior officer to conduct a departmental inquiry against the officials who took the decision to allot the BPL card and fair price shop in question. If any officer or official is found to be negligent or remiss in his duty, a suitable entry in his service record is directed to be made," the court said.

It also cancelled the allotment of PDS outlet at Baba Colony, Burari, here and directed that the FPS be alloted in accordance with law.

First Published: Tue, March 11 2014. 20:03 IST