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Pradeep Pradhan vs State of Orissa and Others

Date : 13/12/2006

Supported by HRLN lawyers, the Petitioner (the Convenor for the Right to Food Campaign in Orissa) sought the issue of a writ of Mandamus or similar to the Respondents to ensure compliance with directives of the Hon’ble Supreme Court concerning implementation of programmes ensuring food security in Orissa. The Respondents were the responsible authorities: State of Orissa, Ministry of Food & Civil Supplies, Ministry of Rural Development and Food Corporation of India. In dismissing this Public Interest Litigation, the learned judge stated that the only remedy available to the Petitioner would be to file an appropriate contempt petition before the Supreme Court, as provided for by the Constitution of India.

Case Details and Status

This Civil Writ Petition was made under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, read with Articles 14, 21, 42 & 43 (as detailed below).

Article 226: Notwithstanding anything in article 32 every High Court shall have power, throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction, to issue to any person or authority, including in appropriate cases, any Government, within those territories directions, orders or writs, including [writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, or any of them, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III and for any other purpose.]

Article 32 guarantees the right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of rights.

Part III of the Constitution of India relates to Fundamental Rights and includes the following articles, as referred to above:

Article 14: The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Article 42: The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.

Article 43: The State shall endeavour to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other way, to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operative basis in rural areas.

Supported by HRLN lawyers, the Petitioner (the Convenor for the Right to Food Campaign in Orissa) sought the issue of a writ of Mandamus and/or any other appropriate writs, orders or directions to the Respondents for complying with the directives of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and various ancillary notifications concerning implementation of programmes for ensuring food security in Orissa. The Respondents were the authorities responsible for ensuring such implementation: State of Orissa, Ministry of Food & Civil Supplies, Ministry of Rural Development and Food Corporation of India.

According to the learned counsel for the petitioner, directions/orders issued by the Apex Court, ensuring food security in the state, were not being acted upon and were even being flouted by the Respondents.

In dismissing this Public Interest Litigation on 13 December 2006, the learned judge stated that the only remedy available to the Petitioner would be to file an appropriate contempt petition before the Supreme Court, as provided for by the Constitution of India.

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