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SLIC, Socio-Legal Information Center.
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Mumbai high court pulls up state govt over delay in setting up food commission

Date : 03/12/2014

The High Court of Mumbai heard a PIL by NGO Human Rights Law Network & Movement for Peace and Justice, challenging the non-implementation of the Act. The HC on 2 Dec 2014 flayed the state for delay in setting up a state food commission and instead appointing an ad hoc committee of bureaucrats to function as the commission.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice A S Gadkari saw red after learning that an ad hoc committee has been functioning since January and no steps have been taken to constitute the commission. The committee includes secretaries of food and civil supplies, women and child development, law and judiciary and social justice and special assistance departments. The commission is to be established under the National Food Security Act and will comprise a chairperson, five other members and a member-secretary not below the rank of joint secretary and all should have experience in law, human rights, social service, nutrition, health, food policy and public administration.

The Bombay High Court Directing the state to constitute a state food commission, there could be no proper implementation of the provisions of the National Food Security Act, 2013, without the existence of such a commission.

We direct the appropriate officer of the state government to file a report on when the commission will be established. Also, provide an outer limit when infrastructure will be given for setting it up keeping in mind the importance of the commission. Unless it is constituted, there will be no proper implementation of the provisions of the Act. (National Food Security Act).

When one of its important functions (of the commission) is to advise the state on implementation, a committee of secretaries will not be able to discharge the said function properly. Also, the commission has to monitor implementation of the Act, inquire suo motu into violations and function as an appellate authority. While the Act came into force on July 5, 2013, the ad hoc committee was constituted on January 10, 20 14 after a notification was issued by the state government.

The Next hearing of the case is on March 16, 2015

Contact Person: Advocate Kranti L.C.

kranti@hrln.org

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