The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the authorities in Haryana to take a decision on the appeal against resumption of biometric authentication for supply of ration at Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs Department’s fair price shops. The biometric authentication had been suspended in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“The present petition is disposed of with the direction to authorities concerned to look into and decide representation dated May 26 religiously and that too in accordance with law while taking all precautions to avoid the spread of Covid-19 and especially within seven days,” Justice Lalit Batra said in the order passed Friday.
The Faridabad District Depot Holder Association had sought quashing of the order passed by the Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department on May 25 by which the supply of essential commodities in Haryana was again made subject to the biometric authentication of beneficiaries through point of sale devices at the fair price shops. The petitioner’s representation since May 26 against the order had remained undecided, compelling it to approach the HC.
The association in the petition said that the number of containment zones in Faridabad has been enhanced to 59 and number of people suffering from Covid-19 has also increased to 275 (in May) but “surprisingly” the state has done away with its earlier order and again ordered that the commodities will be distributed only after biometric authentication of beneficiaries and distress ration token (DRT) holders.
“It is beyond comprehension that the depot holders have not been provided any safety kit/sanitizers and people from different areas will be coming to the fair price shops and will be putting their thumb impression for biometric authentication, which was discontinued for mitigating the effect of spread of coronavirus,” it said in the petition, adding the same will only spread the virus further.
Submitting that there is a palpable fear among depot holder and beneficiaries, the association said the new order seems to have been passed without any application of mind.
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