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Haripal vs. State of U.P. & Ors. - (High Court of Allahabad) (24 May 2021)

Right to food is a fundamental right of every human without which the dignified existence of human beings is inconceivable.



Present matter is related to Order issued by State Government to give preference to Self-help group in allotment of fair price shop. The Allahabad High Court stated that the State through its order dated 7.07.2020 seeks to create a monopoly in favour of the Self- help groups that have a weak legal identity which would worsen the objectives of the Public Distribution System.

The Government order dated 7.72020 undoubtedly is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, once it excludes the participation of eligible village residents and juristic persons such as cooperative societies or Gram Panchayats at par with the self help groups.

The High Court opined that self help groups are eligible for participation in the selection process of fair price shop dealership. However, the Government cannot through an order provide exclusivity to such groups. In accordance to Section 12(2)(e) of the National Food Security Act,2013, competent authority can give preference to public institutions or public bodies only when there is a deadlock between a person and a public body/institution or two public bodies/institutions on account of the support of villagers being equal.

In accordance to Article 21, 47 and 39-A of the constitution, it is the duty of the State Government to ensure no one die of hunger. The Public Distribution System should ensure that every person including the underprivileged is fed. Thus, creating monopoly in favour of self-help group would undermine the purpose of Public Distribution System.

Relevant : Section 12(2)(e) of the National Food Security Act,2013


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