Supreme Court tells states, UTs to implement one-nation, one-ration card scheme by July 31

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked all State governments and Union Territories to implement by July 31 the one-nation, one-ration card scheme that allows the migrant workers to avail ration benefits from any part of the country.

Passing a slew of directions to the Centre and the States for the benefit of the migrant workers, a Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan also ordered the Centre to develop a national portal by July 31 to register the unorganised and migrant workers. It also asked the state governments to frame schemes for distribution of food grains to those not having ration cards, asking the Centre to allocate food grains as per the demands of the state governments.

While reserving the judgment on June 11, the Court had asked the West Bengal government to immediately implement the one nation, one ration card scheme. It directed the distribution of dry ration and community kitchens, providing succour to the needy, to continue amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The Bench, which also comprised Justice Mukesh R Shah, passed an 80-page judgment on a suo moto case registered last year in the wake of the exodus of the migrants on problems and miseries of migrant labourers.

The Court had converted into a suo moto petition a writ petition by activists Harsh Mander, Anjali Bhardwaj and Jagdeep Chokar, through advocate Prashant Bhushan, seeking food security to the migrant workers and travel back home at nominal cost.

During the hearing, the top court said, its main concern is that benefits which are meant for migrant workers must reach them and stressed the process of their registration is woefully slow. The top court said the Centre and state governments must expedite registration of migrant workers and also those working in the unorganised sectors.

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