Mumbai: The Bombay High Court recently directed the Maharashtra government to constitute a state food commission at the earliest. The HC has granted a last chance to the government as it has failed to notify constitution of the commission from last six years.

A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Nitin Jamdar was granted time till September 16, to the government for setting up a commission.

Setting up a food commission in every state is envisaged in the National Food Security Act, 2013. The act tasks this commission to identify households, which should be given the benefit of the food security law, at the earliest.

The commission, once constituted, would be identifying households across state which are below the poverty line and must be given food items at cheaper rates or for free, on a priority basis.

The bench led by CJ Nandrajog was petitioned by an activist Alka Kamble, who highlighted the failure of the government to constitute such a commission. She further informed the judges that the government had in February 2016 informed another bench of the HC that it would constitute the commission within three months, however, nothing much has been done, she argued.

After considering the plea, CJ Nandrajog said, "Six years is sufficient period for the government to constitute the state food commission. Thus, we grant the government one last opportunity to constitute the food commission as contemplated by the National Food Security Act, 2013, failing which the void would be filled by this court by constituting the commission."

CJ Nandrajog further said that if the government fails to set up the commission before September 16 then the court would constitute it by including names, which would be suggested by advocate VS Kapse, who is the Amicus Curaei in the matter.

While adjourning the matter till September, CJ Nandrajog said, "It is expected that the government shall constitute the food commission so that this Court is unburdened with this task."

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