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SC order: Will take steps, says Pawar

Last updated on: September 1, 2010 10:44 IST

SC order: Will take steps, says Pawar

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BS Reporter in Mumbai

The Supreme Court on Tuesday clarified that it was an order, not a suggestion, to the government to distribute free of cost foodgrain rotting in godowns. 

"Tell your minister that distribution of rotting foodgrain was a part of our order and not just an observation," a two-judge bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma told Additional Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran, who represented the agriculture ministry.

The apex court ruled on August 12 that the Centre give away foodgrains to the hungry and poor, instead of allowing it to rot in Food Corporation of India godowns.

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Photographs: Reuters
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However, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on August 19 said: "Distributing grains for free will not be possible. The Supreme Court said that the government should consider whether they can give it at a lower rate or for free to the poor."

The bench passed its latest direction while addressing a public-interest litigation filed by People's Union for Civil Liberties on rampant corruption in the public distribution system and rotting foodgrain in FCI godowns, even though many in the country go without food.

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Image: Wheat plants.

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Reacting to the latest edict, Pawar told Business Standard on Tuesday, "We have not yet received a copy of the Supreme Court order.  We will study the order and take an appropriate decision, if required."

Earlier, ruling and Opposition members in the Lok Sabha had sought the government's response to the court order. Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said it was a shame that foodgrain was rotting in FCI godowns, but not reaching the poor.


Photographs: Reuters
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