There has been a considerable change in the way the courts view the question of law since the pandemic hit the world, which many have dubbed as the rise of the new era- post- covid litigation era. A number of orders have been passed by various courts across India with a conspicuous change in the way things have been dealt with, almost all set against the backdrop of the pandemic and its tendency to sustain by all means.
A division bench of Karnataka High Court comprising Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar on Thursday, May 12th, 2021, adapting and responding along the lines of the post-covid change, directed the Central and the State Government to take a call on whether the benefits of Atma Nirbhar Scheme as applicable last year during lockdown under, can be extended to those not holding a ration card of any State, under which such person was entitled to get free ration of 5 kg of rice and 1 kg of chana dal per month.
Advocate M N Kumar, appearing for the Central Government placed on record a copy of the Press Information Bureau dated April 23rd, 2021 before the court mentioning the Scheme of the Government to allocate free of cost food grains at 5kg, per person, per month to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act, 2013, over and above NFSA food grains for the next two months i.e May and June 2021 on the same pattern as the earlier ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’.
The court, upon taking note of the information, directed the State Government to take immediate steps to implement the decision of the Government of India.
Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadgi assured the court that apart from providing the food, upon close inspection of the situation and proper identification, the State Government will also consider supplying ration kits to the vulnerable sections of the society.
The court, following the assurance of the Advocate General, stated that an order has already been passed, directing the State Government to identify the vulnerable sections of the society, further directing the State Government to place on record the necessary details of the implementation of the schemes through Indira Canteen with district-wise data on the numbers of beneficiaries.
The court also directed the State Government to restore the Dasoha helpline, which will enable the government to immediately know who are the persons who are deprived of the benefits of the scheme of the State Government of supplying cooked food as well as the scheme of Central Government.